Original German WWII RAD Labor Corps Enlisted Mans Hewer by Heinrich Böker & Co. Solingen
Original Item: Only One Available: This German Enlisted Man's RAD Hewer is in good condition, with its nickel plated steel-based mounts having outstanding patination. The crossguard has a fine, curled quillon, and it appears as though the original darkening is in the grooves of the quillon. There definitely is some flaking and wear to the plating on the grip, but it presents very nicely.
The grip plates on this example are genuine stag, and look to be the larger earlier type. The stag shows only minor wear from its years of usage and gives this antler a great, attractive appearance. Both plates are fully intact and have a great color. The stag plates are retained by screws and spanner nuts, which are in good shape, but do show some oxidation. They do not appear to have been turned in decades, if ever since production.
The blade is the heavy bolo style, and these were originally produced with a matte finish. However this blade has seen extensive use and cleaning, so the original finish is all but worn away. The blade has also been sharpened numerous times, and presumably was used in service as a brush clearing device. This sharpening has unfortunately made the markings faint, as well as removing part of them.
The Arbeit adelt (Work Ennobles) motto is somewhat worn, and all of the factory darkening is gone, however it is definitely still legible The reverse ricasso has some nice stamped markings, with the RAD triangle positioned above the abbreviation, [G]ES. GESCH., for Gesetzlich Geschutzt (Protected By Law), indicating that the pole finial was a trademarked design.
Beneath this is the Heinrich Böker & Co. "losenge" style trademark logo, with BÖKER / SOLINGEN surrounding the famous "Baum" (Tree) logo. The company is a famous manufacturer founded in 1869 in Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in western Germany. The company exists today, and has a long and storied history of top quality blade production. Knives made by this maker are highly desirable. For more information please see GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS by J. Anthony Carter.
A nice example of a mid-war RAD EM/NCO Hewer, with lots of field use. Ready to display!
The basis of the RAD, Reichsarbeitsdienst, (National Labor Service), dates back, at least, to 1929 with the formation of the AAD (Anhalt Arbeitsdienst) and the FAD-B (Freiwillingen Arbeitsdienst-Bayern). Shortly after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in Jan 1933, the NSDAP consolidated all labor organizations into the NSAD (Nationalsozialist Arbeitsdienst), a national labor service. It served as an agency to help mitigate the effects of unemployment on the German economy, militarize the workforce and indoctrinate it with NSDAP ideology. It was the official state labor service, divided into separate sections for men and women.
On June 26 1935 the NSAD was officially re-designated RAD. Originally personnel serving with RAD wore a variety of earlier FAD/NSAD belt buckles until February 15TH 1936 when new pattern belt buckles for Officer’s and EM/NCO’s were introduced to provided uniformity in dress.
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