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N031773 HJ HIKE/CAMP KNIFE. (Fahrtenmesser)

BACKGROUND: The origins of the HJ, "Hitler Jugend" (Hitler Youth), may be traced back to March of 1922, with the formation of the "Jugendbund der Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei" (Youth-league of-the National-socialist German Worker’s-party), under control of the SA, "Sturmabteilung" (Storm-troops). In April of 1924 the "Jugendbund der NSDAP" was renamed the "Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung" (Greater-german Youth-movement), and in July of 1926 that organization was renamed the "Hitler Jugend Bund der deutschen Arbeiterjugend" (Hitler Youth League of-the german Worker-youth). The HJ "Fahrtenmesser" (Hike or Camp-knife) was introduced in early 1933, and was the first blade sidearm to be officially sanctioned by the NSDAP. Originally, it was intended for wear by all HJ members, regardless of rank, but in 1937 a "Führerdolch" (Leader’s-dagger) was introduced, to be worn by those holding the ranks of "Gefolgschaftsführer" and above. DJ, "Deutsche Jugend" (German Youth), members could also wear the HJ camp knife, but only after the successful completion of appropriate tests. The early camp knives had acid-etched unto their blades the HJ motto, "Blut und Ehre!" (Blood and Honor!), after a facsimile of HJ Reichsjugendführer Baldur von Schirach’s handwriting, but in August of 1938 the blade inscription was abolished. Of Note: In late 1934 items manufactured for the SJ including daggers came under the quality control of the RZM, Reichzeugmeisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster) and as a result were marked with the RZM logo when appropriate. Of Note: The RZM was official founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster’s Department. The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Early version HJ hike/camp knife. Roughly 14nm long, nickel/silver plated, drop forged steel, single edged, non-fullered blade. Blade has been period sharpened. Blade squirrel and sword logo with "Eickhorn" and "Solingen," the manufacturer’s name and location. Of Note: There is no "RZM" logo indicating that it was manufactured before 1935. Leather washer is missing. The hilt features nickel/silver plated, steel, single up-swept cross guard and stylized eagle head pommel. The molded, black, diamond grooved, bakelite grips with dual dome headed retaining rivets are fully intact. The obverse grip has an imbedded enameled HJ diamond. The HJ diamond features red top and bottom quarters and white side quarters with a central canted black swastika. The diamond has the correct translucent red enamel with a pebbled field visible underneath. The knife comes with its original magnetic sheet metal scabbard. The scabbard retains about 60% of its original black paint. Original owners name is etched into the scabbard. The top edge of the scabbard has a riveted on, vertical, dual-ply, brown leather belt hanger intact. The hanger extends upward from the scabbard and has two other rivets, with one positioned near the center to hold the dual-ply leather together and the other positioned near the top edge to secure a horizontal retaining strap with a single snap closure.

GRADE *** 3/4                             PRICE $399.00

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