The Model 1933 (M33) SS dagger was first serviceable dagger produced for the SS. The design was derived from a 16thcentury Swiss hunting dagger called the “Holbein”. The M33 SS Dagger was worn by all ranks within the SS. Becoming a member of the SS was held in high respect during the Third Reich, and their daggers became a symbolic piece within its ranks. Every year on November 9th, the new SS men would pledge their full allegiance to the Führer (Adolf Hitler) in front of the Feldherrnhalle monument in Munich and receive their dagger as a symbol of that oath. The inscription on the blade “Mein Ehre Heißt Treue”, which translates to “My Honor is Loyalty”, was the motto of the SS.
Manufacturing for these daggers began late in 1933 and continued until 1942 when production of all daggers ceased to conserve materials and labor for the war effort. Today, collectors categorize these daggers into three main categories; Early, Transitional, and Late period. SS daggers produced from 1933 to early 1935 are early and have anodized scabbards, nickel fittings, and are generally of a higher workmanship. Transitional period daggers were produced from 1935 to 1938, are usually found with painted scabbards, plated fittings and RZM codes with their makers logo on the blade. Late period daggers were produced from 1938 to 1942 and are similar to the transitional period daggers in that they use plated fittings, painted scabbards but will only be found with the RZM logo and code on the blade.