Original German WWII HJ Knife by Karl Robert Kaldenbach of Solingen-Gräfrath - RZM M7/72
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a nice example of the classic later pattern HJ Knife, produced by the firm of Karl Robert Kaldenbach, based in the Gräfrath borough of Solingen. This city is known as the "City of Blades", and was and still the center of edged-weapon production in Germany. These were given to boys who were educated in the paramilitary organization, which they often continued to carry into their military service. Unlike the early pattern knives, these have a thicker blade with a raised ricasso, which significantly strengthened the blade. They also do not have the HJ motto etched on the blade, and often are marked not with a maker, but a German RZM Code.
The hilt has about 60% of the original nickel plating remaining, with some areas where the base metal is exposed, with some light oxidation. The grip plates are the black checkered variety and are in very good condition, with just a bit of wear. They are retained by steel rivets with dressed obverse heads, which have lost their plating. The enamel grip insignia retains very bright colors and has a clean surface, with almost completely intact enamel. The plating has worn some of the brass portions though, so they are now a dull oxidized green color.
The scabbard is completely straight throughout with no dents, however the original enamel finish is mostly gone, having flaked off long ago. What remains shows the usual crazing and checking from age. As with most, the reverse of the scabbard fared better. The belt loop is black finished leather, with wear from use, but is overall solid. The securing strap is intact, with a functional snap.
The blade is in good shape, but definitely saw use. It has been sharpened several times, and has a bit of staining in areas. However, the original factory crossgrain can be seen in many locations. The original leather blade buffer is in place, but is definitely worn. The reverse ricasso is stamped with an RZM circle, with the code M7 / 72. The Reichszeugmeisterei, or RZM, was was based at the Brown house in Munich and NSDAP party headquarters in Berlin. The RZM ensured that the manufacturers of military items were consistent in design, quality of materials and other characteristics of the items. It also defined standards of design, manufacturing and quality and published an authoritative color chart for textiles. The M7 in the code stands for knives/daggers, with Karl Robert Kaldenbach of Solingen-Gräfrath being contractor number 72.
A wonderful HJ Knife in fine collectible condition, from the legendary "City of Blades"!
AH believed German youth to be the future of his 3rd Reich. The HJ (AH Jugend) was formed officially in 1935, and with the exception of NSDAP ideology indoctrination was very similar to the Boy Scouts. Beginning at about the age of ten years, both boys (AH Jugend) and girls (Bund Deutscher Mädel) were enlisted in the Party-run organization. The boys only were given HJ Knives after having passed minor exams. The knives had nickeled hilts with black checkered grip plates. The obverse plate was fitted with an enameled HJ swas insignia. Through 1937, these knives were etched with the motto of the organization, Blut und Ehre! (Blood and Honor!). Examples produced after this date were made with plain blades usually bearing an RZM marking.
The HJ Leaders were professionals in charge of the training and NSDAP education of the German Youth. They wore a special dagger consisting of silvered hilt fittings with blue-black leather-covered scabbard. The grip was composed of tightly wrapped silver wire, over a wood base. The pommel cap featured an HJ diamond on top, complete with swas. The upper scabbard fitting portrayed an open-winged HJ eagle with swas cut into the bird's chest. The blade was etched with the HJ motto, Blut und Ehre!
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