NAZI Blutfahne / Blood Flag

Figure 1.--HJ boys un this NAZI newsreel are being inducted into the Volkssturm militia. We believe this is the ceremony conducted in Berlin with the Blutfahne ((October 18, 1944). The symbol in the background seems to be that of the city of Berlin. We are not sure who the two NAZIs are with the boys. Notice the age of the boys. They are far below the age for military service--even the Volkssturm. They probably volunteered as part of their HJ unit. Often unit leaders incouraged boys like this to volunteer. Notice the sleeve cuff band. Many Volkssturm members were not issued uniforms butvwore these bands.

The NAZI Blutfahne (Blood flag) was a Swastika flag which had been used by the NAZI plotters trying to seize power in the abortive Munich Beer Hall Putsch (1923). The flag was the unit banner of the 5th SA Sturm which participated in the Purtch. The Munich police fired on the advancing group and the flag became stained by the blood. SA Storm Trooper Andreas Bauriedl who shot and killed and fell on the flag. After Hitler was released from Landsberg prison, the Blutfahne became perhaps the most revered symbol of the NAZI Party. It was carried by SS Sturmbannführer Jakob Grimminger at important NAZI Party ceremonies. The blood of the NAZI martyrs on the flag was seen as possessing sacred symbolic power. It was ritualized and sanctified in the ceremony which became known as "The Rite of the Blood Flag." The most notable ceremony occurred at the annual NAZI Party rallies at Nuremberg. Hitler would use the Blutfahne to annoit or santify new flags in a kind of priestly religious ritual. Honor guards would present new banners and Hitler would piously touch them with the new Blutfahne. The flag was kept at NAZI Party headquarters in Munich which became a kind if reliquary where it was protected by an SS honor guard. The last ceremonial usage of the flag occurred at a Volkssturm Induction Ceremony in Berlin (October 18 1944). SS Reich Führer Heinrich Himmler oversaw the ceremony. Also present were Keitel, Guderian, Lammers, Bormann, Fiehler, Schepmann and Kraus. This wa the last time the Blutfahne was used. It is not known if it still exists.



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Created: 12:28 AM 9/18/2009
Last updated: 12:28 AM 9/18/2009