Original German WWII HJ Knife dated 1939 with Scabbard by Karl Robert Kaldenbach - RZM M7/72

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent barely used example of the classic later pattern HJ Knife, produced by the rare maker Karl Robert Kaldenbach, Instrumente chirurgische (Surgical Instruments) based in the Gräfrath borough of Solingen. Founded circa 1800, this company registered with Solingen Authorities in 1920, specializing in the manufacturer of surgical and veterinary instruments. During the Third Reich period they started making SA and NSKK daggers, first marked with their trademark logos. They later made these under RZM code M7/72, and also started to make HJ Knives, per J. Anthony Carter's excellent book GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS. It comes complete with its original scabbard.

These knives 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 of this example was originally plated zinc alloy, however almost all of the the plating has worn away. The grip now has a lovely satin gray patina, with just a bit of plating on the cross guard. The grip plates are the black checkered bakelite variety and are in very good condition, with light wear, and definitely no cracking. They are retained by nickel alloy rivets with dressed obverse heads, which show light oxidation. The HJ grip insignia has almost full enamel, and the brass borders between the panels have a lovely mustard patina. It is loose in the grips, caused by the bakelite shrinking over the years, which also confirms authenticity.

The blade of this example is in very good condition, showing moderate use, and no major rust or other damage. it does have some staining and light peppering, and the blade has definitely been sharpened several times. However the blade shape is still correct, and it is also relatively sharp. The reverse side of the blade is somewhat faintly stamped with an ((RZM)) circle, over code M7/72, and the ricasso is dated 1939.

The Reichszeugmeisterei, or RZM, 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. 

The scabbard is completely straight throughout with no dents, however it has lost most of the original black enamel finish. Only the sides and the rear top still have a good amount of finish left. The belt loop was originally black finished leather, but most of that has worn away. The belt loop is almost torn through on one side, and the securing strap is broken, as the female snap is completely missing.

A service used German WWII HJ Knife in very nice collectible condition!

Approximate Measurements:
Blade Length: 5 5/8"
Blade Style: Single Edged Knife.
Overall length: 9 5/8”
Crossguard: 1 7/8"
Scabbard Length: 5 3/4”

HJ believed German youth to be the future of his 3rd Reich. The HJ (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 (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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