Product Description: These Red Cross Leaders Dagger Hangers are a scarce set of accoutrements, in outstanding condition. They are complete, and would be perfect for completing a dagger. The silver wire and red thread woven tape facings, as well as the light brown velvet backing of the straps, are all intact and excellent, showing only minor age and wear, and no fraying or damage. The metal fittings are made of aluminum, and all of the clips and buckles are complete and functional. The aluminum fittings show light age, with a mild, even patina. All of the spring clips remain intact, with two clips that would connect to the suspension bands on a dagger scabbard, and a larger clip at the other end, for affixing the hangers to a uniform. The clips that would affix these to the dagger show slight wear with some finish loss. There are no manufacturer markings. Overall, these hard to find Red Cross Leaders Dagger Hangers are in 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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