352nd Infanterie Division 914th Grenadier Regiment

There were many roles that women played in the WWII German Army. They served as nurses, signal operators, and tramcar operators and even searchlight operators in anti-aircraft emplacements. While women filled several roles in the Third Reich's push for power, there are two roles that women in GR914 currently portray: Nachrichtenhelferinnen or DRK (Deutches Rotes Kreuz) nurses.

Nachrichtenhelferinnen (The Corps of Female Signal Auxiliaries)

In 1940, the Corps of Female Signal Auxiliaries was created. These women served as radio operators, telephonists, switchboard operators, and secretarial workers inside of communications units. The creation of this group led to the creation of several others, including the Corps of Welfare Auxiliaries (Betreuungshelferin), the Economics Auxiliaries (Wirtschaftshelferinnen), and the Corps of Female Staff Auxiliaries (Stabshelferinnen). In 1944, all of these Auxiliary groups were combined into one, which was called the Corps of Female Auxiliaries (Wehrmachthelferinnen). The Nachrichtenhelferen wore a signals badge on their left sleeve, shown here. This badge was called a Blitz. Due to this, these auxiliaries earned the nickname of "Blitzmädchen".

The typical uniform consisted of:

  • Gray cotton work dress with removable white collar and embroidered Blitz on left sleeve
  • Overseas M38 cap w/ yellow piping and embroidered Blitz
  • Seamed stockings
  • OR:

  • Gray wool tunic jacket with embroidered Blitz on left shoulder
  • Gray wool kick-pleated skirt
  • Blouse w/ black men's tie & Blitz brooch (gray blouse for work, white blouse otherwise)
  • Overseas M38 cap w/ yellow piping and embroidered Blitz
  • Seamed stockings

Here you can see an example of a Nachrichtenhelferin writing up documents at her desk, in uniform.

Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (German Red Cross)

The Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (German Red Cross) is the German chapter of the Red Cross, and was taken control of by the German government in 1938. During this time it established rank, uniforms and insignia for all of its members. The DRK was responsible for providing health care and nursing services for the general public, POWs, and the German military. The DRK nurses never saw the front lines, however; they typically did their work in camps and hospitals behind the front line. DRK nurses even provided nursing care in the Concentration Camps, which paints an air of controversy around the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz.

The typical uniform consisted of:

  • One-piece cotton long-sleeved work dress with white detachable collar. Blue & white pinstriped for Helferin, or solid medium mottled gray for Nurses.
  • A white cotton bib-type apron.
  • Standard German issued white cotton nurse's hat.
  • Seamed stockings

Here is a photo, displaying the standard uniform.

There are numerous varieties of this uniform, though this is the one most commonly worn by the GR914 DRK nurses. Other uniform varieties may have wool tunics and pants, much like the standard soldier at the time, or even a wool dress/skirt and overseas cap.

While only two of the female roles are listed here, women played numerous roles and a large part in the German Army. They served as radio operators, nurses, guards, administrative clerks & typists, auxiliary civil defense personnel, and so much more. There were many places for women in the German Army, as there are in our unit.

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