The Rotes Hakenkreuz ("Red Swastika")

The Rotes Hakenkreuz (“Red Swastika”) was founded in 1928 by Elsbeth Zander, with the approval of Reichsorganisationsleiter Gregor Strasser, for the purpose of recruiting and training women in basic medical care to staff sick bays and rest homes for SA-men. Attached to the German Women’s Order (Deutscher Frauenorden; DFO), predecessor to the National Socialist Women’s League (NSF), plans for its expansion included a professional Party nursing organization which could provide employment to trained nurses under the requirement that National Socialist doctors utilize Party nurses in their medical practices. In 1934, under orders from Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess, consolidating all Party nursing into one national organization, this plan shifted to the Brown nurses of the National Socialist Volk’s Welfare (NSV).