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PAX Metal Badges (Switzerland, 1930s / 1950s)

by Heinz Gabathuler (Feb 18, 2018)

My recent encounter with these nice small objects from SCI’s remote past has been indirectly triggered by a visit to the International Secretariat (IS) in Antwerpten a few weeks ago: When I mentioned that due to the digitalisation of most of SCI’s everyday documents (proceedings, correspondence, pictures, videos), the International Archives would put a stronger focus on the collection of physical objects such as printed brochures, business cards, T-Shirts etc, Ossi asked me whether I was interested in official address stamp the IS had used at previous locations. So I took, among other objects, two outdated stamps back to Switzerland.

When checking out the most appropriate place in the Archives for these stamps, I found a box which was named various materials, containing all kinds of stuff, from textiles to metal badges from different SCI branches and different ages.

And, indeed, a few remaining copies of precious-looking metal badges with SCI’s old PAX logo, in different colours and sizes. The founder of the Archives, Ralph Hegnauer, had put them into a shabby envelope which mentioned if not the years then at least the decades in which the respective badges had been produced. The brownish (or copper-like) ones, 2,8 centimeters high, apparently date from the 1930s, the grey (or pewter-like) ones, only 1,8 centimeters high, were manufactured in the 1950s. At their back side, one reads P- KRAMER, NEUCHATEL: The proof that both had been manufactured by the same company in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. I asked Jean-Claude whether he knew the medals, and the local manufacturer. He told me that the medals had been sold for 2 or 3 Swiss Francs in workcamps and at SCI gatherings, even in the 1960s and 1970s when he was in charge of the Swiss branch, and sometimes they had been given as a present to visitors from Asian branches. And the Kramer company? It has ceased to exist after being taken over by another, more distinguished and more expensive local producer of cups and medals: Among the list of clients of that company we find the Swiss Army, several Central Banks – and the International Olympic Committee.

Heinz Gabathuler, International Archives Coordinator


When filing the old IS stamps, I decided to re-arrange the whole “various materials” stuff, distinguishing between textiles and other objects, and consequently gave the beautiful “PAX” badges their own file number, 65401.1.

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