Original German WWII HJ Knife with Motto By August Merten of Solingen - RZM M7/31 1936
Original Item: Only One Available: A very nice early HJ Knife (HJ knife) marked on the blade with the RZM code for maker August Merten of Solingen. This early HJ Knife is a solid example of the type, with a handle that is nickel-plated over a steel base. The plating still remains in nice condition, with over 95% still intact and shiny. The acid-etched motto Blut und Ehre! (Blood and Honor!) is present and legible but the original dark etched finish has been polished off by use and sharpening.
The Bakelite grip plates are closely checkered and in perfect condition, retained by nickel-plated rivets with dressed obverse heads. The HJ insignia is also in very good condition with only a bit of wear, and with the enamel fully intact. The bakelite shrinks slightly over the years, which is why the logo can be loose, however this logo was stabilized with some glue.
The scabbard shell the typical tapered example with original paint. The paint is still bright and rates at above 80%. There is a bit of checking in the lacquer, with chipping on the outer side. The leather hanger and belt loop are still in good supple condition, though the finish is somewhat worn. The retainer loop is intact and has a good working snap, though it has some light cracking from age, and unfortunately the belt loop is broken.
The blade of this example is solid, and is typical of the early period up until 1936. It has a thinner blade with no raised ricasso, though it does have RZM code designation. The motto is only seen in the earlier portion of this period. This blade from the transitional period when the RZM was still being instituted.
The blade has some of the original crossgrain near the hilt and an intact tip. The blade definitely saw use in service, as it has been sharpened several times, and has been polished as well to remove oxidation. The blade is currently quite sharp sharp. On the reverse the blade is marked:
(Crossed Oak Leaves)
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, contractor 31 stands for firm August Merten Witwe Eichenlaub GmbH, Stahlwarenfabrik, in Solingen-Gräfrath. This is a neighborhood of Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany. The M over Oakleaves insignia is an August Merten registered trademark, as indicated by the Ges. Geschütz, which is short for Gesetzlich Geschützt (Protected by Law). The original leather blade buffer is in place, though it is somewhat worn.
A wonderful HJ Knife with a very nice early pattern blade in great collectible condition!
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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