The GERMAN RED CROSS (German : Deutsches Rotes Kreuz, German pronunciation: ), or the DRK, is the national Red Cross Society in Germany.
With over 3.5 million members, it is the third largest Red Cross
society in the world. The
German Red Cross
* 1 Voluntary societies of the
German Red Cross
VOLUNTARY SOCIETIES OF THE GERMAN RED CROSS
The majority of active voluntary Red Cross members are part of the five voluntary societies of the German Red Cross.
* Bereitschaften (medical service units, about 160,000 members) * Bergwacht (mountain rescue service) * Wasserwacht (lifeguard service, about 130,000 members) * Sozialarbeit (welfare work) * Jugendrotkreuz (Red Cross Youth)
General Kurt von Pfuel, Chairman of the Central Committee of the German National Red Cross during WW I. Local example before 1919
Instituted in 1864 by Dr. Aaron Silverman of the
Charité hospital of
German Red Cross
General Kurt W. von
One of the terms of the
Treaty of Versailles
On 11 June 1933 Frick was invited to speak at the Red Cross Day. He declared:
"The Red Cross is something like the conscience of the nation. ... Together with the nation, the Red Cross is ready to commit all its strength for the high goals of our leader, Adolf Hitler".
The DRK was quick to respond to the changed circumstances, indeed Winterfeldt-Mencken had always been opposed to the system of parliamentary democracy. The Workers' Samaritan League, a left-wing humanitarian organization, had always been an unwelcome competitor to the DRK. Hocheisen very quickly arranged that it should be taken over by the DRK. Similarly, the DRK moved quickly to rid itself of left-wing members, and in June 1933 it also decided that the Nazi "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service " should be applied and dismissed its Jewish employees.
However the DRK was still a member of the Red Cross movement, and
Despite Winterfeldt-Mencken’s professions of loyalty to the regime,
they were not reciprocated and a replacement was sought. President
Hindenburg was able to influence the decision, and selected Charles
Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha who was Queen Victoria’s
grandson, rather than Hocheisen. Charles Edward had moved from England
Charles Edward became President of the DRK in December 1933, while Hocheisen became his deputy. Not unsurprisingly, they did not work well together. There followed a typically Nazi-Darwinist power struggle, in which Hocheisen was eventually able to assert his authority – only to be ousted by the top SS doctor – Ernst-Robert Grawitz - at the start of 1937. At the end of 1938 the German Red Cross officially came under the control of the Ministry of the Interior's Social Welfare Organization, becoming de facto a Nazi entity, led by Grawitz in the role of 'acting president', with Oswald Pohl as chairman of the board of administration. By this stage there was no doubt about who was in charge, though Charles Edward remained in his post until 1945. As he was related to European royalty and spoke good English, he was a useful figurehead for the DRK, but Grawitz was different – he would turn up to International Red Cross meetings in his SS uniform. Grawitz took a radical approach to his task. He introduced a hierarchical chain of command into the DRK, and arranged for a new large and imposing "representative"- presidential building to be constructed in Potsdam- Babelsberg , complete with a balcony from which speeches could be made. His ideal concept for the DRK was that of a "healthy structure which would fit itself organically into the laws of life in the National Socialist Third Reich".
In the years after the Nazi takeover, as well as adopting Nazi salutes and symbols, the DRK introduced Nazi ideology into their education. Rescue teams were trained in military conduct, basic concepts of National Socialism, genetics, racial hygiene and demographic policy. More senior staff – doctors, nurses and managers were educated in demographic policy, racial history, racial hygiene, the biology of inheritance and the foundations of genetics. As a preparation for war, the DRK focused on training people to deal with air raids and gas attacks and organised joint exercises with the police and the fire brigades.
After Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II , the Allied Military
Government issued a special law outlawing the NSDAP and all of its
branches. Known as "Law Number Five", this
disbanded the DRK, like all organizations linked to the NSDAP. Social
welfare organizations, including the German Red Cross, had to be
established anew during the postwar reconstruction of both West
German Red Cross
PRESIDENTS OF THE GERMAN RED CROSS
During the First World War General Kurt W. von
* 1921–1933: Joachim von Winterfeldt-Menkin * 1933–1945: Carl-Eduard Herzog von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha * 1950–1952: Otto Gessler (FRG) * 1952–1961: Heinrich Weitz (FRG) * 1961–1967: Hans Ritter von Lex (FRG) * 1967–1982: Walter Bargatzky (FRG) * 1982–1994: Botho Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein (FRG) * 1994–2003: Knut Ipsen * 2003–: Rudolf Seiters
SECRETARIES GENERAL OF THE GERMAN RED CROSS
GRC until the end of World War II:
* 1887-1903: Dr. Otto Liebner * 1903-1920: Prof. Ludwig Kimmle * 1920-1921: Dr. Thode * 1921-1924: Paul Drauth * 1924-1934: Wolfram Freiherr von Rotenhan * 1935-1945: "Acting president" Ernst-Robert Grawitz
* 1953-1954: Dr. Mehlmack * 1954-1960: Hans Schwöbel * 1960-1966: Waldemar Röhricht * 1966-1990: Johannes Hengst * 1990: Dr. Karl-Heinz Borwardt
GRC after World War II:
* 1950-1957: Walter Georg Hartmann * 1958-1976: Dr. Anton Schlögel * 1976-1984: Dr. Hans-Jürgen Schilling * 1984-1990: Dr. Hermann Schmitz-Wenzel * 1990-2001: Johann Wilhelm Römer * 2001-2002: Dr. Hans-Jürgen Schilling * 2003-2015: Clemens Graf von Waldburg-Zeil * 2015- today Christian Reuter
* ^ Gutenberg-e.org * ^ Gutenberg-e.org * ^ Morgenbrod, Birgitt and Merkenich, Stephanie Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, Schöningh, Paderborn, 2008, p.21 * ^ Morgenbrod and Merkenich Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, p.32 * ^ Morgenbrod and Merkenich Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, p.51 * ^ Morgenbrod and Merkenich Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, p.34-38 * ^ Morgenbrod and Merkenich Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, p.91, footnote 15 * ^ Morgenbrod and Merkenich Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, p.152 * ^ Morgenbrod and Merkenich Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, p.104 * ^ Morgenbrod and Merkenich Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, p.172-175 * ^ Morgenbrod and Merkenich Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, p.131 * ^ Morgenbrod and Merkenich Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, p.115 * ^ Morgenbrod and Merkenich Das Deutsche Rote Kreuz unter der NS-Diktatur 1933-1945, p.116 * ^ "Pursuit of an \'Unparalleled Opportunity\'". www.gutenberg-e.org. Retrieved 2016-06-16. * ^ "Pursuit of an \'Unparalleled Opportunity\'". www.gutenberg-e.org. Retrieved 2016-06-16. * ^ "DRK Bad Lauterberg". www.drk-lauterberg.de. Retrieved 2016-06-16.