Product Description: This Hitler Youth Belt Buckle by RZM M4/38 is a nice, attractive example of the standard buckle worn by the Hitlerjugend (HJ). This one is constructed out of a single piece of injection molded zinc alloy, and likely dates from the war years. The obverse of the buckle shows only very light wear, with some minor surface scratches. The details to the eagle, motto and roundel are superb! The reverse of this buckle is clearly maker marked “RZM M4/38,” indicating manufacture by the firm of Richard Sieper & Söhne, in Lüdenscheid. The integral, molded catch remains intact, and the aluminum roller bar and prong assembly is complete and functional, with no issues. This Hitler Youth Belt Buckle by RZM M4/38 measures approximately 2 7/16 inch wide by 1 7/8 inches high, and remains in excellent condition.
Historical Description: The belt buckle was an important part of the regalia worn by all uniformed military, civil, political and paramilitary organizations during the Third Reich. The belt (“Koppel”) was part of the uniform and would always be worn while on duty. The belt buckle (“Koppelschloss”) was generally specific to each organization, with many organizations having separate belt buckles for officers and for enlisted personnel, sometimes with different colors and finishes to further denote specific purposes. The buckles were adorned with various mottos and designs specific to the organizations for which they were intended. Many designs used the German national eagle emblem, in a variety of forms. Belt buckles were worn with uniforms ranging from finely tailored officer parade uniforms, to the issue uniforms of enlisted soldiers in combat. Generally speaking, most German belt buckles of the Third Reich were made with two prongs on the reverse, to allow the buckle to be worn and adjusted on a belt. The buckle had a catch that would mate with a hook on the belt, when worn. The earliest Third Reich buckles were often made of brass, or nickel silver. Later, aluminum became very common, and was used on private purchase as well as enlisted buckles of the German military, with or without a painted or plated finish. After WWII began, most enlisted military buckles were steel. Nazi belt buckles were popular souvenirs for Allied troops who served in Europe. Some types were made by the millions and remain quite common today. Others were made in limited numbers and are very rare.
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