Product Description: This is nice example of a transitional Hitler Youth knife. It’s made by Hartkopf & Co. in Solingen, a hard-to-find maker of these knives. The blade on this one shows use, with evidence of having been sharpened long ago, likely by the original owner. There is typical graying and age patina. The reverse of the blade is marked on the ricasso with the commercial type maker mark of Hartkopf as well as the stamped RZM emblem and maker code “M7/40.” The handle also shows traces of wear and age, with a moderate patina to the metal fittings. The Bakelite grip plates show no cracks or chips, and are correctly riveted in place. The enameled Hitlerjugend diamond emblem has no chips or losses to the high-quality enamel. This desirable Transitional Hitler Youth Knife is complete with its original scabbard. The scabbard body has been repainted with a brush, and has an even patina that leaves no doubt that it was repainted long ago. The leather is brown, and remains supple. The retaining strap is intact and functional. Overall, this is a very appealing, honest, original piece. The condition rates as excellent.
Historical Description: The Hitler Youth Knife (Hitlerjugend Fahrtenmesser) was introduced in the summer of 1933, shortly after the Nazi seizure of power in Germany. It was produced by a multitude of manufacturers and could be purchased from authorized shops for a price of 4 Reichsmarks. It was used not only as a dress sidearm, but as a functional camping tool, and these were commonly sharpened by their original owners. The earliest examples bore the motto of the Hitler Youth, “Blut und Ehre!” (Blood and Honor), etched on the blade. The blades on these early knives were marked with commercial manufacturer logos. They had nickel silver handles, and anodized metal scabbards. The use of the etched motto was discontinued in August 1938. Later HJ knives had nickel plated steel handles, painted scabbards, and the maker logos were replaced with an RZM code along with the year of manufacture. There are also transitional types that still have the etched motto but have dates on the blade ricasso. Manufacture of these knives is believed to have ceased around 1942. All HJ knives have the diamond emblem of the Hitler Youth on the handle.
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