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Hitler Jugend buckles

Article about: How do these buckles look? Are they authentic? I cant tell the difference between real ones and fake ones but they look real to me. Thank you in advance.

  1. #1

    Default Hitler Jugend buckles

    How do these buckles look? Are they authentic? I cant tell the difference between real ones and fake ones but they look real to me. Thank you in advance.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Hitler Jugend buckles   Hitler Jugend buckles  

    Hitler Jugend buckles   Hitler Jugend buckles  


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  3. #2
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    Both are original. Look them over and see if there are any marking. It is unusual to find a HJ with no markings.

  4. #3

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    Dear KyleSchuette,

    I concur with kirby that both the buckles that you have shown are original, however the first one as DJ, is somewhat distressed having essentially lost all of the original nickle silver plating to the obverse surface. As kirby has suggested, well worth a closer scrutiny to both the buckles in an attempt to find any less obviously placed markings and the outer and inner areas of the folds to the boxes, could be a likely setting.

    Regards and best wishes,

    David

  5. #4

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    Is it normal for a buckle to not have makers markings on them? I have a couple of Wehrmacht and Imperial German buckles that do not have makers marks on them and I know those are authentic. Was wondering if it was normal for the Hitler Jungend buckles.

  6. #5

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    Dear Kyle,

    You have in my opinion posed a very interesting.

    I am unaware that prior to the enforcement of selected dictates of the NSDAP, no buckle manufacturer was required by law to mark their product. We do of course see Imperial and Weimar era buckles complete with a makers name or makers logo, however I assume that these were included simply due to the reasonable combination of vanity, pride in product and advertising.

    Right wing youth movements existed during the early to mid 1920’s, however the Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung was in 1926, renamed as the Hitler Jugend (Bund der Deutscher Arbeiterjugend). It was not however until mid 1933 that the organisation enjoyed a major transformation with the emergence of the four primary groups of DJ (Deutsches Jungvolk), JMB (Jungmädelbund), HJ (Hitler Jugend) and BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel).

    Both the DJ and the HJ buckle was introduced in 1933 and the date is significant in relation to the two buckles shown and which are devoid of any markings.

    The RZM (Reichszeugmeisterei), although correctly via the ZM (Zeugmeistereien), from late 1931 required that certain NSDAP related uniform accessories, insignia and the like, had and for accountability and quality control purposes, to display some form of manufacturers recognition marking. This requirement was and in theory effective until early 1933, although was widely ignored. In early 1933 the RZM was consolidated and by late 1933, manufacturing licenses were required in relation to a proscribed list of NSDAP related uniform accessories, insignia and the like. I am assuming that belt buckles was on the list. It was at this time that the first manufacturers codes appeared, however in a somewhat rudimentary form to include the designations of UE (Uniformeffektenhersteller), MA (Metallwarenhersteller) and KH (Koppelschlosshersteller). In mid 1934 the Mitteilungsblatt der RZM was published and in early 1935, we see the M4 code first employed on belt buckles and which was eventually fully adopted during the course of the year.

    This is a painfully long winded way of suggesting that the two buckles shown are probably early examples of their type and which by accident or design, escaped the late 1933 RZM requirements in relation to the display of a rudimentary manufacturers code.

    The buckles sub forum by the way has “stickies” both in relation to “Identifying Early RZM, MA, KH and UE Buckle Markings” and “Early RZM Setup Information”, both of which may be of interest.

    Regards and best wishes,

    David

  7. #6
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    Nothing much to add to David‘s excellent and very helpful overview above, and the following is just some random musings.

    Originally, the SA, HJ and SS all had their own procurement systems and licensed manufacturers themselves. It does appear that from sometime in early 1933, manufactures and vendors of uniform and equipment items for the NSDAP and its affiliated organisations required a permit from the RZM. The first issue of the RZM Mitteilungsblatt contains a “final warning” by the Reichsschatzmeister dated 22 December 1933 against unauthorised production and marketing of official party uniforms and equipment, and references two earlier decrees of his dated 31 May and 31 July 1933. The decree further states that in situ inspections by the RZM would commence shortly, and anyone found to be in contravention of the decree(s) would be criminally prosecuted.

    From these decrees, it does not follow when exactly licensed manufacturers of metal wares were first required to mark items, including belt buckles, with the RZM logo and permit number. It is clear that permit designations evolved over time until the final M4/.. etc. system was introduced in April 1935, and this is the only specific date we have. The decree specifies that M4 would replace KH (Koppelschloss-Hersteller, belt buckle producers). M5 replaced UE (Uniformeffekten-Hersteller, accoutrement producers). I have found no official reference to MA, but perhaps Wilhelm Saris has (as an aside, it was perhaps not the smartest move to ban the most knowledgeable researcher of NS uniforms from the forum). MA could be Metall-Abteilung (metal wares department), or it could be, Metall-Abzeichen (metal badges), and the latter would fit neatly into the general system (KH -> M4, UE -> M5, MA -> M1). It is always assumed that the “MA/KH/UE” etc. sub-groups were all introduced at the same (albeit unknown to us) time, just like the final “M + digit(s)” system was in April 1935. But I strongly suspect that the “penultimate” system itself evolved over time. There are so many buckles marked UE out there, and by so many manufacturers, that it is hard to believe they all could have made the same mistake in using UE instead of KH. Much more likely in my view that belt buckles also came under UE initially, and KH was only created subsequently. It is unproblematic to subsume belt buckles under “Uniformeffekten”, and double-claw buckles continued to fall under this category to the end. By contrast, I have only seen one buckle marked MA, so that could have been an honest mistake on the part of the manufacturer. That could perhaps support my contention that MA is for Metall-Abzeichen, and not the generic Metall-Abteilung.

    The RZM Mitteilungsblatt contains multiple warnings that items must be properly marked with the RZM logo and permit number, and that adding company logos or names was forbidden. Items not conforming to regulations were subject to seizure if found in the course of inspections carried out by the RZM (but companies could send in specimens of such items and gain marketing permission for them from the RZM). Confusingly, at some point it was expressly allowed to add logos etc., only to be forbidden again later.

  8. #7

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    Dear Kurt,

    Many thanks for this superb additional information and which compliments the core subject perfectly. There are several most interesting points that you have raised and towards which I would like to discuss further, however and for the moment, I am reluctantly forced to hold back on. I am experiencing severe problems accessing the Forum due to unauthorised site redirections which I suspect are hijacked CloudFront generated. My apologies.

    Regards and best wishes,

    David

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