German WWII DRK Leader's Dagger- Deutsches Rotes Kreuz
New Made Item: This is not the cheap version out of China. Instead these are high quality steel and hardwood construction reproduction made exclusively for IMA by one the worlds best edged weapon makers (a contractor to the USMC).
The DRK (German Red Cross) dagger was adopted in 1938 and was authorized for all officials with the rank of Wachtfuhrer (officer or non-commissioned officer in charge of a guard) and higher.
Like the original- this dagger is approximately 37 cm long and features a plain pointed blade that conformed to the Geneva Convention because it was not worn in the field.
The grip is plastic and colored orange with 10 horizontal simulated wire cords running around the grip. The pommel and cross guard is similar in style to the Hewer and both are nickel-plated. The cross guard has the DRK insignia at its center. The scabbard has a pebbledash finish with two square suspension rings.
Although the dagger ceased production in 1940 officers wore it until the end of the war, making originals quite hard to find. This is a rare dagger is now available as a high quality replica for the first time on the collectors market.
Organizational History of the German Red Cross [Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (DRK)]
In the early years of the 3rd Reich, the German Branch of the Red Cross was the main social welfare organization in times of hardship.
In December 1939, Hitler conferred a new legal status on the Red Cross by recognizing it as a national organization with some independence from Geneva. With this new status, the German Red Cross expanded in size and authority within Germany. It expanded its organization into two distinct branches:
1. Medicine, nursing and first aid (Red Cross).
2. Charitable and social works caring for children, the old and the homeless (Social Welfare).
During WW2, the Red Cross became involved in both the home front and the International scene, tracing and monitoring prisoners of war.
Although the members, both male and female, were on a non-salaried basis, a full-time cadre of uniformed salaried leaders supervised them. The DRK incorporated the omnipresent eagle and swastika with the International Red Cross symbol in the design of their own distinctive insignia.
The DRK President was Dr. Ernst Robert Grawitz who also held office in the SS as Obergruppenfuhrer. His duties also involved acting as Chief Police and SS medical officer.
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