Product Description: This Böker RAD Hewer is an attractive, representative example of the enlisted RAD hewer. The blade is uncleaned, and retains original cross-graining. There is some light, powdery rust spotting on the blade, mostly confined to one small area on the logo side. The opposite side of the blade is nicely marked for the firm of Böker in Solingen, a desirable maker of these edged weapons. The grip on this Böker RAD Hewer is really nice, with silvered grip fittings presenting a pleasant, even age patina. The stag grips are in excellent condition, with no chips or cracks, showing only light honest handling wear and a mellow, old patina. The scabbard also features silvered fittings which also have a nice, even dark patina that perfectly matches the grip. The engraved decorations show great contrast. About 90 percent of the original gloss black paint is still present on the scabbard, with some minor paint lifting and wear from use and handling. There is no major damage to note. This Böker RAD Hewer is a one-look original example, by a desirable maker.
Historical Description: The Reichsarbeitsdienst (National Labor Service, RAD) was a compulsory labor organization formed by the Nazi Party in 1934. A new dress dagger was instituted in the same year, to be worn by all members of the Reichsarbeitsdienst for dress and formal wear. As the RAD was a labor organization, this was made in the form of a “Hewer,” with stag grip plates, and a heavy, rugged blade similar to a utilitarian tool, although it was not intended for this purpose. The large scabbard was engraved with the shovel and wheat organizational emblem of the Reichsarbeitsdienst. The blade of the RAD Hewer was etched with the organizational motto “Arbeit adelt” – Labor Ennobles. Originally, all personnel of the Reicharbeitsdienst were to have worn the same model of hewer, though there were some production variations. In 1938, a new pattern of hewer was introduced to be worn by RAD officers. It was smaller, with a smaller grip that featured silvered fittings and an eagle’s head pommel. The RAD organizational emblem was moved to the crossguard on the officer pattern hewer. Today, as with all ceremonial regalia of Third Reich organizations, original Rad hewers are eagerly sought after by collectors.
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