Original German WWII Early M33 SS Dagger Numbered To SS-Obersturmbannführer Edinger Ancker with Massive Research Dossier
Original Item: Only One Available: The SS (Schutzstaffel - 'Protection Squadron') was originally formed in 1925, ostensibly to act as a small, loyal bodyguard unit to protect the Führer, Adolf AH. Under the direction of the infamous Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS grew to be the most ruthless and feared organization of the 20th century. They were the vanguard of NSDAP and eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of Occupied Europe. The SS dagger was introduced in 1933. Early on, members of the SS were awarded their daggers during a ceremony at the Feldherrnhalle Memorial in Munich. The annual ritual, charged with mysticism and meant to evoke the traditions of medieval Teutonic knights, was held on 9 November, the date of the unsuccessful Munich Putsch of 1923. Both officers and enlisted men wore the identical dagger until 1936. After this time, only enlisted men wore the M1933 dagger.
The SS Dagger was equipped with nickel cross guards with an ebony wood grip. The black grip contained a National eagle with swas insignia recessed in the center area and an ᛋᛋ doppelte Siegrune (Double Sig/Victory Rune) button inset at the top. On early examples the scabbard shell surface was factory blackened using a metal bluing process. The scabbard had nickel mounts. The SS blade was a polished type containing the SS motto, Meine Ehre Heisst Treue (My Honor is Loyalty). Early examples bore one of three district stampings on the lower reverse crossguard of I, II, or III. Early examples were mostly hand-fit. Production of later examples was more standardized, using cheaper, nickel-plated fittings with black painted scabbard shells. They could be held with a standard belt hanger, or a much rarer vertical hanger.
Many SS personnel would add their SS Membership number to the crossguard of their dagger, especially those who had been members of the organization for a long time. The rear crossguard of this dagger is marked with SS Member Number 139 336, for SS-Obersturmbannführer Edinger Ancker. Included with the dagger is a MASSIVE dossier concerning Ancker, his background, his service, and even post war information from War Crimes interrogations surrounding the Nuremburg Trials. Much of this information comes from the U.S. National Archives, and all of the information is well organized, along with summaries and descriptions to help even the layman make sense of the voluminous records. This fine dossier was assembled by Ross J. Kelbaugh at the Military Research Service, and includes a letter confirming this with a raised seal.
Highlights from files concerning Edinger Ancker:
- Born 22 February 1909 in Kiel, Germany
- Joined the NSDAP on 5 December 1930 (membership number 430,258)
- In 1931 Joined the SA Sturmabteilung (Brown Shirts)
- Studied law at the Universities of Hamburg, Vienna and Berlin, which he completed in 1933 with the first state examination in law, and then became a civil servant.
- On 6 February 1933 joined the SS (Membership Number 139 336) as an SS-Anwärter (Candidate).
- On 3 February 1934 promoted to SS-Mann, and 12 days later to SS-Sturmmann. After this during 1934 he rose rapidly in the ranks, and by 9 November 1934 had been promoted to SS-Truppführer / SS-Oberscharführer (Senior Squad Leader), an NCO rank equivalent to Feldwebel.
- On 20 April 1935, Ancker was promoted to the Officer Rank of SS-Untersturmführer, equivalent to a Leutnant in the Heer Army, and after this was promoted regularly, finally attaining the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer, equivalent to an Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) on 21 June 1943.
During this time Ancker was mostly involved in his capacities as a civil servant and as a member of the SS / NSDAP Administration. He was however deployed in the Wehrmacht as a Feldwebel from December 1939 to May 1940, and after the "War in the West" was complete, he stayed in the Netherlands. From June 1940 to December 1941, he was employed as a personnel and finance officer for the Reich Commissioner for the occupied Netherlands, Arthur Seyss-Inquart. Ancker then married the daughter of Cornelis Christians Walraven, chief of police of The Hague and from 1943 of Arnhem, Eleonora in 1941. The marriage to the Dutch woman was personally approved by Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler.
At the beginning of January 1942, he moved to the party chancellery in Munich , which was under Martin Bormann's control , where he and his family took up residence in the Sonnenwinkel settlement. In Department III (State Affairs) of the Party Chancellery, he succeeded Gerhard Klopfer as head of Department IIIA (work area of the Reich Ministry of the Interior) with the areas of administration, ethnicity, public health, racial issues, municipal affairs and police affairs. Ancker participated in anti-Jewish measures. He took part as a representative of the party chancellery on March 6, 1942 together with Herbert Reischauer at the Follow-up conference of the Wannsee Conference in at Adolf Eichmann's Department IV B 4 at Kurfürstenstraße 115/116 in Berlin. A list of people in attendance has been uploaded into the photos.
From May 1944 to October 1944, Ancker served as a reserve Waffen-SS officer (SS-Untersturmführer der Reserve) in the 5th SS Panzer Division "Wiking" after undergoing officer candidate training. Due to a war injury, he was then "deployed between Berlin, Munich and the Alpengauen as a liaison officer to the personal staff of the Reichsführer SS".
After the end of the war, Ancker was held as a prisoner of war from May 25, 1945 and then in Allied internment until February 1946. According to his own statements, he was then employed as a farm hand. During the Nuremberg trials he was housed in the witness house from March to May 1947 and was supervised by Robert Kempner and fully interrogated. In hindsight, he was unable to explain his participation in the persecution of the Jews, such as his demand for tightening the ordinance on the confiscation of Jewish property. In the end, he admitted that he would take part in the follow-up conference to the Wannsee Conference, but stated that he could not remember the details. Due to his subordinate position, he was not prosecuted and finally testified as a witness in the legal process. He is mentioned in the book The Witness House: Na**s and Holocaust Survivors Sharing a Villa during the Nuremberg Trials by Christiane Kohl, as the witnesses for the trials were housed in the same house.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg regarding information on Ancker. This would make a fantastic historical research project as well as a translation and handwriting interpretation project.
The dagger itself is a very nice early example, produced by a very rare maker: Gottlieb Hammesfahr & Co. AG, Nirosta-Werk, Stahlwarenfabrik und Gesenkschmiederei (Stainless Steel Factory, Steel goods factory and drop forge), in the Foche area of Solingen. This is a known producer of SS daggers during the Pre-WWII period and after. The rear of the dagger is marked with their trademark logo:
(CROSS ON PYRAMID LOGO)
Founded in 1804 and registered with the Solingen chamber of commerce in 1875, this company is one of the largest and longest-established edged weapon producers in Solingen. While this company was known primarily as a drop forge, it also made knives and tools during the WWII period. They had several brand names, including PYRAMIDE, which had a logo of a Pyramid with a cross on it. The "oval" style trademark was specifically used on the blades of the earliest SS and SA daggers made during the Third Reich, per J. Anthony Carter's work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.
The blade on this example shows use from service, with wear and past oxidation that has been cleaned away. However the original factory final grind cross grain is still visible over much of the surface in the light. This texture is iconic, and is the definitive identifying characteristic for a real WWII German Blade. Overall the blade shows little oxidation, so it was well maintained during its service life. The SS motto, Meine Ehre heißt Treue (Loyalty is my Honor) is crisp with little wear. It has however lost most of the original factory darkening. The blade shoulders perfectly meet the lower crossguard contour, and is solid in the grip.
The crossguards of this dagger and tang nut are in very good condition throughout, and are of the earliest solid nickel silver construction. They have smooth surfaces, good crisp edges and precise accent grooves. They show some light cleaning, and have only a bit of oxidation present. If there was a district number, it was stamped over with the SS ID number discussed previously. Per customer requests, we always check the inside of the guard on these daggers, and both the cross and pommel guards are marked with a small circular round depression on the inside, with no other markings.
The ebony grip is a nice example showing in very good shape, however it is damaged, like many that we see. There is cracking near both guards, with chunks missing on the reverse near the cross guard, and on both sides near the pommel guard. There are also some hairline cracks visible as well. The ebony wood is unfortunately brittle, and the treatment used to give it a uniform look exacerbates this, so this type of damage is very common, especially on early daggers that saw long service.
The color of the wood is still very good, and wood grain can be seen. The symbol button is present, but looks to have fallen out and was reset at an angle. The silvered SS symbol and double circles around them have a nice matching lightly oxidized patina with the nickel still intact, with complete enamel. The nickel grip eagle is the "high-necked" type with the beak pointing slightly up. It remains in crisp condition, showing little wear to the bird's head, breast and wing feathering and to the talons, wreath or swas.
The scabbard shell is a solid example, with a straight steel shell showing a bit of denting, including a significant one on the rear near the chape fitting. This does not however interfere with sheathing the blade.. It is the correct early pattern with a black "anodized" finish, which was originally lacquered to protect it. This has since worn away, however the black finish is still strong, not showing much wear. The matching solid nickel silver scabbard mounts are in good condition, with a lightly oxidized patina. The lower ball is dented in flat and split on the sides, very common to see due to the softer nickel alloy. All four dome headed screws are present and in good condition.
The middle of the scabbard is fitted with a "ramp" that would be used on SS Officer's "chained" daggers, and Ancker was certainly qualified to wear one, so it may have had a chain installed at one time, but it is definitely not present now, and the loop on the top fitting would be incorrect for a chain. Definitely some interesting research potential on the dagger's scabbard!
A wonderful Identified service worn and well-patinated early SS dagger by a very rare Solingen maker, complete with scabbard! Lots of history to this fine dagger, with a complete Dossier concerning nearly every aspect of Ancker's service. We are unlikely to find a dagger with such impressive background anytime in the hear future. Ready to research and display!
Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 10”
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