Maker: Robert Klaas
Product Description: This DRK Red Cross Hewer is a beautiful piece, with nice character. There is no maker mark, but it is believed that this pattern of hewer was made by the firm of Robert Klaas in Solingen. The blade on this one is in a very strong, excellent plus condition, with only minimal wear and runner marks, and lots of nice shine. The reverse of the blade is nicely stamped “Ges. Geschützt” just behind the crossguard, indicating a legally protected design. The leather blade buffer is intact. The handle is nice, with only light wear and a pleasant patina to the metal. The Red Cross eagle and swastika emblem on the crossguard is well-defined. The black grips show no chips or cracks. This DRK Red Cross Hewer is complete with its original scabbard. The scabbard shows some losses to the paint from honest wear. The small areas of bare steel have an old patina. The intact glossy paint shows some slight age crazing. The scabbard throat and tip fittings match the handle nicely. This is a nice representative example of the enlisted hewer, in overall excellent condition.
Historical Description: The German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz, DRK) was given organizational status by the Nazi Party in 1938. As with all official organizations, it fell under the auspices of the NSDAP; the DRK fell under the German Ministry of the Interior. In 1938, a special and unique edged weapon, the “Hauer für Mannschaften” (known to collectors as the Red Cross EM Hewer) was introduced for enlisted personnel of the DRK. It was a blunt-pointed tool, with one cutting edge, and one saw edge on the blade spine. It was intended not only as a dress dagger for ceremonial and formal wear, but as a practical knife for preparing splints, casts and bandages. The purpose of the blunt tip was to avoid violating Geneva Convention prohibitions against medical staff carrying offensive weapons. Unlike most German blades intended for dress purposes, the Red Cross EM Hewer was not a private purchase item but was issued from unit stocks as needed. Officers in the DRK wore a different dagger. Manufacture of the enlisted hewer ceased in 1940.
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