Pattern: Late War
Base Material: Zinc
Product Description: This WKC RAD Leaders Dagger is a typical late war example of this rare dagger type. It shows some age. The blade has some wear, and a bit of staining in places. The “Arbeit adelt” motto remains crisp and dark. On the reverse, the blade ricasso is stamped with the “knight’s helmet” manufacturer logo of the firm of Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Cie. (WKC) in Solingen. The handle fittings are made of zinc. Most of the original silver finish has lifted from the handle fittings over time, but the RAD emblem on the crossguard and the eagle’s head pommel both retain lots of original detail, with some old patina in the recesses of the designs. The grip plates are made of trylon, and are intact, with some toning from age. This WKC RAD Leaders Dagger is complete with its original scabbard. The scabbard has a deep, attractive patina to the original silvering. It’s nice and straight, with no dents, and retains great detail to the original ornamentation. One of the throat screws is missing, but both of the hanger rings remain intact. This desirable dagger is untouched and uncleaned, and is in excellent condition overall.
Historical Description: The Reichsarbeitsdienst (National Labor Service, RAD) was a compulsory labor organization formed by the Nazi Party in 1934. A new dress dagger was instituted in the same year, to be worn by all members of the Reichsarbeitsdienst for dress and formal wear. As the RAD was a labor organization, this was made in the form of a “Hewer,” with stag grip plates, and a heavy, rugged blade similar to a utilitarian tool, although it was not intended for this purpose. The large scabbard was engraved with the shovel and wheat organizational emblem of the Reichsarbeitsdienst. The blade of the RAD Hewer was etched with the organizational motto “Arbeit adelt” – Labor Ennobles. Originally, all personnel of the Reicharbeitsdienst were to have worn the same model of hewer, though there were some production variations. In 1938, a new pattern of hewer was introduced to be worn by RAD officers. It was smaller, with a smaller grip that featured silvered fittings and an eagle’s head pommel. The RAD organizational emblem was moved to the crossguard on the officer pattern hewer. Today, as with all ceremonial regalia of Third Reich organizations, original Rad hewers are eagerly sought after by collectors.
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