Updated: Oct 23, 2022
ACHTUNG: ARTICLE UNDER CONSTRUCTION
In this article, I'll explain some history and the content of an NSDAP Membership Book (NSDAP Mitgliedsbuch) focusing on the edition from 1933. I'll also provide hints for people who would want to make it an authentic piece of their collection, or impression.
Reproduction of 1933 NSDAP Membership book is available from Krause Papierwerke, as well as all the due and donation stamps you would need to complete the book. For completeness, in the first year of membership a membership card would have issued. You can find all you need in NSDAP Collection of Krause Papierwerke.
Brief history of the NSDAP Membership Books
My research led me to believe that prior to 1927 there were no books, only cards. I identified so far the following NSDAP Mitgliedsbuch issues:
the 1927 issue - interestingly had only space for 6 years of stamps, so the member would get 1933 issue book after this one
the 1931 issue
the 1932 issue
the 1933 issue (focus of this article)
the 1935 issue
the 1939 final issue
There were changes in each issue which, sometimes minor, sometimes more significant. I will describe them in subsequent articles devoted to each of the issues.
Who and when would receive the membership book
Any accepted applicant would start off with Membership card first. You can see three different issues of these on Krause's NSDAP Collection page. At that period, after 1 year of uninterrupted membership, the member would return their card, pay processing fee of RM1 and receive the book. The book did not contain fields for pasting Hilfskasse fee of RM0.30 a month, so each member would additionally have a Hilfskasse Card with its own stamps until 1939, when RM0.30 fee was included in the members dues and Hilfskasse Card discontinued. Hilfskasse money was used to help NSDAP members in political trouble (before 1933) and pay pension to families of members who gave their life for the cause.
So specifically the issue 1933 of the book would go to Parteigenossen (Party comrades) who:
joined NSDAP in 1932-1933
joined NSDAP before 1927 and used up the space for dues stamps in their 1927 issue book
had any book already before 1935 and lost lost it
Content of the 1933 issue
Page 1: On top the address of headquarters of NSDAP and below in frame advertising of "Völkischer Beobachter". At the very bottom information about the first issue year of the book (1933).
Page 2: Adolf Hitler requests that Party member not only to read Party issued newspapers to stay informed, but also encourage other citizens to purchase and read them.
Page 3-5: Foreword by Adolf Hitler dated January 9th, 1927. It talks what ideal Party member should be like and what's expected of them.
Page 6: Roll of Honor (Ehrentafel) for the causalities of failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. By 1933 official State martyrs.
Page 7: Information regarding keeping book up to date, pay Party membership dues monthly (certified by a stamp in the book), report any address change (to be noted in the book) and that the book is owned by NSDAP and in case of leaving the Party, needs to be returned.
Page 8: Data of the owner
Mitgieldsbuch Nr. - book number, the same as your membership number
Vor- und Zuname: first and last name. Last name often underlined.
Stand oder Beruf: profession
Wohnort: address at the time of book issue. Start with city, then street name and street number (in that order). There was no postal code in the 3rd Reich.
Stadtbezirk: city district, usually left blank
Geburtstag: birthday, format day (followed by ".") month year (4 digits). E.g. "14. Februar 1910"
Geburtsort: place of birth, normally just the name of the town
Eingetreten am: date of joining the Party (same format as 6. above)
Ausgetreten am: date of leaving the Party (if applicable)
Wiedereingetreten am: date of re-joining the Party (if applicable)
München, den: to be followed by the date of issuing of the book (more than a year from the date of joining in 8.)
At the bottom of the page from left to right: signature of Adolf Hitler, rubber stamp of NSDAP headquarters and signature of the Party's Treasurer Franz Xaver Schwarz
Black & white photograph of the member with a rubber stamp over top-right corner
Eigenhändige Unteschrift des Inhabers: signature of the member, self-signed name(s) and surname
Place (over the first dotted line) and date (over the second) of the book issue by the Ortsgruppe (local office of the Party)
Signature of the local NSDAP leader over the dotted line at the bottom with respective round rubber stamp of Ortsgruppe in the left-bottom corner.
Note: for big cities sometimes the book was issued directly by Kreisleiter (one organizational lever higher than Ortsleiter).
Page 10: The information on situations in which the book will lose its validity
when dues aren't paid (book can be reclaimed by any office of the Party)
book has any entries added by the owner, rather than the Party official
the entries in central register of the Party are not in sync with the entries in the book
followed by a reminder to report any address change to the Gau-level organization (above Kreis).
Page 11: Notes on documents from previous military, or public service at the time of the book issue. To be certified by the stamp and signature of Ortsleiter.
Page 12-15: Notes about address changes
Angemeldet am - registered on (date)
bei Ortsgruppe - at Ortsgruppe (name of the new responsible Ortsgruppe)
Gau - name of the Gau
Neue Wohnung: exact street address
Ortsgruppenfuhrer: signature of the Party official in the new Ortsgruppe (also rubber stamp)
Besonderes: special notes about NSDAP service (e.g. leader, SA/SS-Man), or if suffered hardship or persecution because of political activities on behalf of NSDAP
Page 16-21: That's where you paste monthly dues stamps. Each page is good for 24 months (2 years). In total 12 years of membership can be covered (unless you lose your book, or it burns in terror bombing). Each stamp would be canceled too. Pre-1936 stamps usually were canceled by hand (initials of a clerk?), from 1936 "NSDAP bezahlt" round rubber stamp would be used. On top of each page (Beiträge 19...../.....) you would complete the year by hand for the stamps on the page. E.g. "Beiträge 1935/36".
Page 22-26: Spenden: donations. Here for example Reichsparteitag stamps for each year of membership would be pasted. If you donated to the Party more frequently, that's where the stamps would go.
Page 27-29: Amtliche Eintragungen: official entries
Various notes which don't fall under categories from previous pages would end up here. One of the most popular is the note about receiving a Party awards (e.g. long service medal, or golden party badge, etc.)
Page 31-38: Auszug aus der Satzung - excerpt from the Party's statute.
Page 39-44: Auszug as dem Programm - excerpt from NSDAP program
Page 45: List of Party political education publications and their prices. Starts with "Mein Kampf" of course.
Page 46: Information about Party's magazine "NS Funk"
Page 47: List of NSDAP newspapers
Page 48: Printing house Leopold-Druckerei that printed the book.
Physical specifications of the 1933 issue
Dimensions: 135mm (5 1/4") high, 105mm (4 1/8") wide, ~3mm (1/8") thick (48 pages)
Red textile hard-cover with NSDAP eagle debossed in gold
Pages inside white, smooth texture, thin (ink writing and print could be seen through the pages)
Hints for filling out the book
Use ultra-fine fountain pen, or Pilot G-2 0.38mm. This will reduce bleed-through. Originals I've seen were indeed filled out with ultra-fine fountain pen for the same reason I believe.