Product Description: This Hitler Youth Buckle RZM Tag is an unissued piece. It’s the standard buckle, worn by all members of the Hitlerjugend below leader rank. It’s made of steel. The front of this buckle features the eagle and diamond swastika emblem of the HJ as well as their motto, “Blut und Ehre” (Blood and Honor). It is covered with a smooth silver “radiator paint” finish, which is 98 percent intact, with some small wear areas on high points and edges that reveal the steel. The reverse of this Hitler Youth Buckle RZM tag also retains nearly all of the paint, with some losses to the functional roller bar and prong assembly. The paper RZM tag still affixed to the catch is a rare and desirable feature. The tag has some normal age toning and wear, but is complete, and still firmly affixed with the original steel staple. The buckle itself is nicely marked on the reverse, with the round RZM logo of the Reichszeugmeisterei as well as the maker code M5/276 indicating manufacture by the firm of Klein & Quenzer AG in Oberstein. This is a great buckle by a desirable maker, made even more desirable by the presence of the original paper tag. It’s 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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