Early RZM Setup Information
Gents I have taken this info from a thread and made it easier to find and available as I believe it is very important info to enable the understanding of the early RZM development: All this info is courtesy of Wim Saris:
In an earlier post you mentioned a "transitional period", but there was no transitional period.
It was just a progress in developing the RZM structures, between 1931 and 1935. Briefly this period and
structuring is given for your convenience and for others:
Already in the spring of 1931 they do speak of a Reichszeugmeisterei, divided into the various district-Zeugmeistereien
(depots), where political goods could be obtained. In late 1931 it was noted that various insignia and uniform-fittings
had to be marked with the manufacturers-code, which is the name (logo) or abbreviation, often together with ges. gesch
(gesetzlich Geschützt and so you see for example O&C ges. gesch. Nothing was said about a specific RZM-code. This
was so until anyway at least spring 1933.
April 1, 1933 all the various Zeugmeistereien were re-organized and did not exist anymore. The only official department
where to purchase was the RZM at Munich. Since May 1933 concerns, manufacturing for the party-organization, had to
have a permit (Berechtigungsnachweis), valid with August 1 . In the course of the next months things were better
structured and organized. August 15, 1933 it was listed what was meant with party-uniforms and insignia. A classification-
code was not given, but the numbers used were the later M1-numbers, for example 36 (Berg & Nolte).
June 1, 1934 the Mitteilungsblatt der RZM was published for the first time. About this time the specific codes, the
classifications as MA (Metallwarenhersteller), UE (Uniformeffektenhersteller) and KH (Koppelschlosshersteller)
came into being. These classifications were only used for a short period of time, as already in March 1935 the M-codes
came into being. The change-over for the new code-system took place since early summer and the course of 1935, as it
was allowed to sell first the old stocks.
RZM-tags were already available for a while and with manufacturers orders it was said the RZM codes had to be included
(das Schutzzeichen der RZM as well as the Berechtigungsnummer des betreffenden Herstellers ist eingeprägt).
Note this is said anyway in June 1934. So from about this date for example buckles were including the KH -code
and number (the later M4) or UE-code and number (the later M5 with their specific numbers).
This information largely is generated from actual and old sources like the "Verordnungsblatt der Reichsleitung der NSDAP"
and the well-known "Mitteilungsblatt der Reichszeugmeisterei". Post-war information is not consulted!!
Last edited by Ben Evans; 04-06-2016 at 02:32 PM.
04-06-2016 08:16 AM
Here the extended version:
Late 1931: this specifically is an order from December 7, 1931 (“Verordnungsblatt der Reichsleitung der NSDAP”,
further as “Vbl.RL”. Nr. 14 from December 31, 1931, as well as “Verordnungsblatt der Obersten SA-Führung”, further as
“Vbl.OSAF”, nr. 6 from January 26, 1932) and related to insignia. Names were mentioned, as well as logo’s (Warenzeichen).
With all ges. gesch (gesetzlich geschützt) was to be included (for example O&C ges.gesch for the new nickel-silver SS-buckle –
“Vbl.OSAF”, nr.6 ). The use of this procedure was anyway still mentioned with a November 15, 1932-order and lasted until
the fall of 1933.
With order 10/33 from April 28, 1933 it was specifically noted that the various depots (Zeugmeistereien) dissolved with
the date April 1, 1933 and the system was re-organized. The only remaining was the Reichszeugmeisterei at Munich
(“Vbl.RL”, nr. 47 from May 15, 1933; also “Vbl.OSAF”, nr.12 from April 1, 1933).
With the entry of August 1, 1933 manufacturing was only allowed to those concerns having a permit (Berechtigungsnachweis).
This was order 15/33 from May 31, 1933 (“Vbl.RL”, nr. 48 from May 31, 1933). With order 32/33 from August 9, 1933 it was
specified which items were only allowed to be manufactured with an RZM-permission. An extended listing was included. With the
section Metallabzeichen (metal insignia) belt-buckles (Koppelschlösser) were included (“Vbl.RL”, nr. 53 from August 15, 1933).
Political organizations mentioned were: SA, SS, PO (political leaders, the NSDAP-officials), HJ/Jungvolk (see also August 8, 1934),
Frauenschaft, NSKK and NSBO. The same order also mentioned what items were not (yet) needed to be manufactured without a
As far as researched the granting of RZM-permissions was started in September 1933, which for practically all were the numbers
from thelater M1-code, for example 36 for the Berg & Nolte-concern or 17 for F.W. Assmann & Söhne.
It was said as: sie tragen das Schutzeichen der RZM, sowie die Berechtigungsnachweisnummer. Note the RZM-sign was included
With order 10/34 from May 9, 1934 it was announced the official periodical from the RZM, known as “Mitteilungsblatt der
Reichszeugmeistereii” (further as “Mbl.RZM”), would be published for the first time with the date June 1, 1934 (“Vbl.RL”, nr. 71
from mid-May 1934. In many early issues they did speak about the RZM-permissions, but hardly ever gave information about the code.
They just said “number”. Manufacturers for metal parts had to apply for a permission at the department for “Metallwaren”
(“Mbl.RZM”, nr. 1 from June 1, 1934).
With the Hitler-order 4/34 from July 20, 1934 the SS became an independent organization within the structures (eine selbständige
Organisation im Rahmen der NSDAP). This was announced in the “Vbl.RL”, nr. 77 from early August 1934. At that moment it came
under the head of regular RZM-structures and so SS items were numbered. When a specific SS-code was arranged for buckles is not known,
but thought to be much, much later then the introduction of the M-codes. With the 1938 RZM manufacturers list the enlisted SS buckle,
as well as leader’s buckle (SS-Mannschafts- und Führerschlösser) were still mentioned amongst M4.
Until early August 1934 the manufacturing of items for the HJ was apparently not strictly included within RZM-structures, but arranged by the
RJF – Reichsjugendführung (note HJ items were not marked with the abbreviation RJF). With order 21/34 from August 8, 1934 this was newly
arranged and also HJ items were from now on only allowed to be manufactured by concerns, having an RZM-permission (“Vbl.RL”, nr. 79 from
the end of August 1934). This is in some ways confusing, as already since August 1933 the HJ-organization also was included in order 15/33.
With the start of August 1934 HJ-specifications were announced in the “Mitteilungsblatt der RZM”.
In the course of early summer one started with the creation of RZM sub-codes with specific abbreviations. A number of them were announced
in the “Mbl.RZM”, nr. 6 from July 7, 1934. First noted were those for cloth (and wholesale trade), cloth insignia (the sub-code was TA for
Textilabzeichen and MH for caps), as well as leather and other equipment. The abbreviation MA (Metallabzeichenhersteller), KH
(Koppelschlosshersteller) and/or UE (Uniformeffektenhersteller) were not mentioned or published, but must have been created
simultaneously as UE was mentioned with the withdrawing of permissions of early July 1934 (“Mbl.RZM”, nr. 9 from July 28, 1934. Numbers
mentioned were UE 53 and 106. Later the codes MA and KH were mentioned). It was not uncommon the employees from the RZM, in preparation
for the magazine, “slipped up” with many occasions and forgot things to mention. It was mentioned anyway it was not allowed to produce materials
with the number of another granted concern’s permission (nur mit eigenen Berechtigungsnachweis-Nummer und eigenen Firmenmarke). It
was also noted that buckles for the SA, HJ and DJ often did not have any codes included at all, which in fact was strictly forbidden. The use of MA,
UE and KH codes with numbers lasted until summmer 1935, which is relatively short (about one year).
A most interesting publication was published early February 1935 (“Mbl.RZM”, nr. 8 from February 23). The RZM wanted to know if
manufacturers from metal goods/items were using sub-contractors (Hilfsbetriebe). They put the manufacturers three questions to be answered
as quick as possible and was related to the full programm.
Asked was: a) what products (Erzeugnisse) were manufactured within the concern; b) for what products semi-manufactured articles (Halbfabrikate)
were procured/obtained from other concerns; c) what semi-manufactured materials were made and delivered to other concerns.
It is a pity never a classified list was published, especially related to buckle-manufacturers, telling what happened actually. Who made stamps
for others, made the prongs or whatever. A lot of “rumours”, guesses, questions and “blabla” would been solved with such list. In 1938 a list
was published with sub-contractors, having the permission (M2 for Hilfsbetriebe), explaining who were general sub-contractors,
did galvanizing and anodizing, polishing, soldering, enameling, stamping or striking and also making stamps. These sub-contractors were not
allowed to make a final product, but only were allowed to work for concerns having a permission, as for example M1, M4 or M5.
March 9, 1935 the change-over from MA, UE and KH was a fact (“Mbl.RZM”, nr. 10 from March 9, 1935 and nr.12 from March 23, 1935).
The new codes were announced and so this was for the department metal (Unterabteilung M = Metall). MA became M1
(Metallabzeichen-Hersteller), KH became M4 (Koppelschloss-Hersteller) and UE became M5 (Uniformeffekten-Hersteller, with the sub-sections
a, b, c and d). M5 so included the manufacturing of double-claws for political organizations as SA, NSKK and political leaders.
Concerns had to use these new indications from now on with immediate entry with the number, which was the specific number for the former
sections. KH 23, being the concern of Dr. Franke & Co, became M4/23.
With “immediate entry” one should take with a slight pinch-of-salt. Old stocks were sold out first, but actually was not allowed. There must
have been a so-called “Ausverkaufsfrist” (period of sales). It is known that even SA-buckles were sold for years, in spite of the fact for
years the double-claw should be worn. Such buckles should get a special tag (Lagerbestandmarke, priced at RM -.02). This was for
example noted in the “Mbl.RZM”, nr. 19 from June 22, 1935.
So far and for the interest of "buckle-lovers"!! One can give an approximate date to an early RZM buckle.
Even more when one is aware of the fact that with an order from April 24, 1935 a number of materials
were not allowed to be used anymore with the production of buckles. These materials were for example copper/
brass, nickel, lead, chrom etc. Buckle-manufacturers had to re-arrange their manufacturing-procedures
according to this and so the "era" of aluminum buckles was a fact! Things were described in order 26 from the
Überwachungsstelle für unedle Metalle (Reichsanzeiger Nr. 101 from May 2, 1935).
A number of, newly designed, buckles were not granted/authorized for use and were never manufactured in the
new material aluminum. Later in the year the "Uniformen-Markt" mentioned specifically new (aluminum)
buckles for the German police (and quoted order 26).
Last edited by Wilhelm Saris; 04-07-2016 at 04:48 PM.
"Wir sollen auch unser Leben für die Brüder lassen" (1.Joh.3.16):
zum Gedächtnis Wilhelm Schenk. Er starb fürs Vaterland am 13. Juni 1916