|DESCRIPTION: Robert Ley was a cruise ship of the National Socialist Party leisure organization Kraft durch Freude (KdF) (Strength Through Joy). It was considered the flagship of the KdF fleet. The ship was named after the Nazi politician Robert Ley and was designed exclusively for cruises. The keel was laid on behalf of the Nazi organization Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF) (German Labor Front) at Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, Hamburg. Robert Ley was owned by the DAF and was managed, crewed, and maintained by the Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellscharft (HAPAG). The interior design was commissioned by architect Woldemar Brinkmann. The launch took place in 29 March 1938, in the presence of Adolf Hitler. The commissioning took place on 24 March 1939. The ship was designed for about 1,750 passengers in addition to the crew. The KdF was originally set up by party leader, Dr. Robert Ley, as a promotion tool to forward and present advantages to the workers of Germany (“The People!”). It soon became the world’s largest tourism operator of the 1930s. KdF was meant to bridge the class divide by making middle-class leisure activities available to the masses. This was underscored by having cruises with passengers of mixed classes and having them, regardless of social status, draw lots for allocation of cabins. A somewhat less ideological goal was to boost the Germany economy by stimulating the tourist industry out of its slump for the 1920s. It was quite successful up until the outbreak of World War II. By 1934, over two million Germans had participated on a KdF trip; by 1939 the reported numbers lay around 25 million. With the outbreak of war in 1939, the organization unfortunately was mothballed, and several projects, such as the massive Prora beach resort, were never completed.
Dr. Robert Ley (15 February 1890-25 October 1945)
Dr. Ley was an important German political leader during the National Socialist era and headed the German Labor Front from 1933 to 1945. He was born in Niederbreidenbach in the Rhine Province, the seventh of 11 children of a heavily indebted farmer, Friedrich Ley, and his wife Emilie (née Wald). He studied chemistry at the universities of Jena, Bonn, and Münster. He volunteered for the army at the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and spent two years in the artillery before training as an aerial artillery spotter with Field Artillery Detachment 202. In July 1917, his aircraft was shot down over France and he was taken prisoner. After the war Ley returned to university, gaining a doctorate in 1920. Later enraged by the French occupation of the Ruhr in 1924, Ley became an ultranationalist and joined the Nazi Party soon after reading Adolf Hitler’s speech at his trial following the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. By 1925, he was Gauleiter of the Southern Rhineland district and editor of an anti-Semitic Nazi newspaper, the Westdeutsche Beobachter. Ley proceeded with unswerving loyalty to Hitler for the rest of his life. In 1931, he went to the Nazi Party’s Munich headquarters to take over as head of the party organization following Hitler’s dismissal of Gregor Strasser in an internal dispute. Ley’s impoverished upbringing and his experience as head of the largely working-class Ruhr party region meant that he was sympathetic to those elements in the party who were open to socialism, which Hitler opposed, but he always sided with Hitler on inner-party disputes. When Hitler became chancellor in January 1933, Ley accompanied him to Berlin. In April, when the trade union movement was taken over by the state, Hitler appointed him head of the German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront- DAF). The DAF took over the existing Nazi trade unions and made the NS government the final champion of the workers while always respecting the position of management as well in all labor disputes. A more industrious worker in all that he did can hardly be imagined, and it certainly cannot be denied that he worked diligently for the socialist betterment of Germany and its Führer and workers.
The KdF cruise planners always seemed to favor Norway and its awesome fjords for many of the trip destinations and this beautiful medallion depicts the bow of Robert Ley emerging from the Reich that is depicted as a swastika and it says: “NORWEGENFAHRT DER DEUTSCHEN TECHNIK– 10-16. V. 1939” (Norwegian Journey of German Technics). On the reverse side, there is the N.S. eagle and swastika and under this is the legend: “IHREM GROSSEN SOHN PROF. DR. ING. F. TODT SEINE VATERSTADT PFORZHEIM.” (Our great son Professor Doctor Engineer F. Todt from your home city Pforzheim.)
Dr. Fritz Todt (4 September 1891-8 February 1942)
Dr. Todt was a great German construction engineer, and senior National Socialist figure, who rose from “inspector General for German Roadways” where he oversaw the construction of German Autobahnen (Reich autobahn) and later to Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition where he led the entire war military economy. At the beginning of World War II he founded what Hitler named Organization Todt, a military engineering company which supplied industry with labor and administered all constructions within Germany during the late phase of the Third Reich. He died in a plane crash in 1942 and was succeeded by Albert Speer in all of his offices and duties. The medallion is indeed a significant piece of important history of the former great workers’ Reich. Now it remains possibly as a reminder to us that contrary to the talking heads on TV like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, who have consistently uttered the old canard that Socialism has ‘never worked’ in the world wherever it was tried. Well, they are wrong, wrong, wrong! Because In National Socialist Germany it not only worked, but also most definitely prospered! No better system for the citizens of any nation has ever existed in this world!
The medallion is about 1¼ inches in diameter—small but it certainly packs a very significant history!
PRICE: $295.00; one of the most important pieces we have ever offered