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Original German WWII HJ Knife dated 1941 with Scabbard by Richard Abr. Herder - RZM M7/18

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good 1941 dated example of the classic later pattern HJ fahrtenmesser (trip knife), complete with its original scabbard. It was produced by the desirable maker Richard Abr. Herder, Stahlwarenfabrik (Steelware Factory), based in Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany.

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 blade of this example is in very good condition, showing moderate use, and no major rust or other damage. There is just a bit of light staining, as well as some marks from the runner and cleaning. It does not look to have been sharpened much at all during service, and the leather blade buffer is still present and in good shape. This example is however a bit interesting, in that while it is the later pattern, it is marked with both an RZM marking as well as the maker's trademark marking. The reverse ricasso of the blade is stamped with the ((RZM)) marking, with M7 / 18 over 1941 to the right. The other ricasso is marked as follows:


This marking is to the right of the trademark "Diamond" logo of Richard Abraham Herder. The Herder name is well known in Solingen, and this branch originally registered in 1884 as a steelware maker. As time went on they specialized in Drop Forging, and supplied blade blanks to Erfurt Arsenal and other companies. During the Third Reich period, they continued to make their own edged weapons, as well as supply blades to smaller makers. They manufactured many HJ knives during the war, first with their trademark, and then with their RZM code. For a period of time they did use both markings simultaneously, per J. Anthony Carter's work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.

The hilt of this example is plated zinc alloy, and the plating is retained at about 75%, with wear and areas of flaking and loss overall. 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 plated steel rivets with dressed obverse heads, which show light oxidation. The HJ grip insignia has full enamel with only light wear, though the brass borders are quite dark. It is loose in the grips, caused by the bakelite shrinking over the years, which also confirms authenticity.

The scabbard on this example is in great shape, with almost all of the finish retained, and no dents we can see. There is some crazing and checking on the rear, but only a small amount. The original leather belt loop is intact, as is the securing loop, and the black finish is well retained.

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 Richard Abr. Herder of Solingen being contractor number 18. 

A very nice example of a lightly used HJ knife by a well-known Solingen maker, complete with a great scabbard! Ready to display!

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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