Product Description: This RAD EM Buckle w/Tab is a great example, with an excellent look, in above average condition. It’s the issue type buckle that was worn by enlisted men of the national labor service. The front of the buckle is pebbled, with a roundel formed by a wreath of wheat ears surrounding a shovel and swastika organizational emblem of the Reichsarbeitsdienst. It shows only minor wear, mostly to the high points at the edges of the swastika emblem. The bare aluminum appears to have been given a thin, dark wash that gives this piece exceptional visual contrast and depth. The reverse of this RAD EM Buckle w/Tab features a molded, integral catch for the belt hook. It is dated 1938 and has the stylized “HA” maker logo indicating manufacture by the firm of Hermann Aurich in Dresden. The buckle still retains its original brown leather tab, held in place by the original stitching. The tab is in very good condition and retains nearly all of the original smooth leather surface. It is neatly marked “Hermann Aurich, Dresden” and dated 1938, a perfect match for the buckle. This RAD EM Buckle w/Tab has a lot of visual appeal.
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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