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The dagger of SS Brigadeführer Dr. Hermann Haertel

Article about: The dagger is obviously not a pretty example. Far from it. However what it lacks in condition it makes up in history. I picked up this numbered M33 Eickhorn ground Rohm knowing it was resear

  1. #1

    Default The dagger of SS Brigadeführer Dr. Hermann Haertel

    The dagger has some obvious condition issues. However what it lacks in condition it makes up in history. I picked up this numbered M33 Eickhorn ground Rohm knowing it was researchable. Ross J. Kelbaugh uncovered a tremendous amount of documentation relating to it's owner, SS-Brigadeführer Dr. Hermann Haertel. A robust SS Officer file, Race and Settlement file, all SS-Dienstalterslistes entries, and his NSDAP Membership file card. Additionally, several photos were available including one with his wife where the dagger is worn! While the dagger doesn't match the condition of my other ones, I find it fascinating because of it's connection to a high ranking SS officer with a colorful profile. Here are just some of the documents + the photos. Now if I could just locate his Totenkopfring
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    Last edited by seventyeighth; 08-31-2015 at 02:52 AM.

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  3. #2

    Default

    Stunning find of a dagger and its owner. The dagger grip has seen its better days..and the blade tip has been blunted or repointed..but dull. Im curious of the lower guard markings internally..Im thinking maybe EW. These SS Rohms along with their SA Rohm counterparts were all produced in consistency having the same internal markings upper and lower guards.

    Is there a Bench mark number beneath the lower guard?...not necessary but nice to see if the guard is a truly marked HE guard. Yet I like the guard to grip fit..as the guard step is perfect to the angle of the grip

    Interesting pebbling effect where the SS number is stamped. The SS district stamp "I" for Munich ..is somewhat faded into the same pebbling...mind you these are only observations.

    Its obvious some clown tried to have a go at the eagle and runes button and failed miserably by leaving pick marks in 2 places around the eagles wings..and totally obliterated the wood around the runes button.
    I will place this dagger around 1934 as painted scabbards were beginning to be used in those years. This makes sense according to his photo having the 1936 style SS cap which would entitle him to wear the Chained SS officer around the 1937 date.
    In his wedding photo..he is seen wearing the 1933em SS dagger.

    Scary dagger with an identity.

    This SS dagger forum would benefit greatly by the input of Friedrich Berthold,. HPL2008 Andreas..and Mr Saris...some grave insight into this SS manns background would ad more chill to this found dagger. Thanks for sharing this Dossier Mr 78th!! Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  4. #3

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    Thank you, Larry. The blade has been recklessly sharpened on both sides reducing the length by about 3/4" There is indeed a bench mark on the lower guard. It is a "1"
    There are the not entirely uncommon Eickhorn grip cracks and chips and perhaps, yes, the veteran or second owner did attempt to remove the eagle and runes but luckily, failed. Thankfully, the nut does not appear to have been messed with. An internet search turned additional photos of Haertel. One, seemingly wartime portrait. The other upon his release from Soviet prison in 1955 looking quite aged on the far right next to Wilhem Mohnke.
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  5. #4
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    This is an SS Rohm Honor Dagger produced by Eickhorn, and was awarded some time between February 1934, and June of the same year. The internal crossguards will be marked HE, the in house produced hardware by the Eickhorn firm. The scabbard was anodized or blued at one time, and painted black at some time later.

    Haertel was the lowely SS Mann at the date that his Rohm dagger was awarded to him, and it wasn't until later that he climbed quickly through the rank and file of the SS. It is a little bit uncommon, for such sanitary numbers to be stamped on the crossguard of an early SS dagger. Unless you were to pay for a jeweler to perform the job, the numbering system that we see on these crossguards is usually quite askew to say the least. This is even true, in the case of officers daggers, at the time that they were numbered. The difficultly for an individual to hand stamp these numbers in his tool shed or kitchen table, had to be quite a challenge.

    As far as the researcher goes, he never verifies any dagger, number or anything else. But merely looks for the file of the number that you hire him to search for. If you tell him that you have an M33 with the number 168 on the crossguard, no problem. He pulls the file for Himmler, and hands you the bill for it. Third Reich numbers are a neat research tool, they can provide collectors with a world of information, and we still have a lot to learn from them.

  6. #5

    Default

    Quote by JRMeda View Post
    As far as the researcher goes, he never verifies any dagger, number or anything else. But merely looks for the file of the number that you hire him to search for. If you tell him that you have an M33 with the number 168 on the crossguard, no problem. He pulls the file for Himmler, and hands you the bill for it. Third Reich numbers are a neat research tool, they can provide collectors with a world of information, and we still have a lot to learn from them.
    I'm not sure what you're getting at. The process of working with Ross K., who I believe has researched hundreds of numbered SS daggers, was certainly more nuanced than you are suggesting. I did not ask for research on 168 or any arbitrary number. Several macro photographs of the very number on the cross guard were provided in order to ID the owner. This scenario you depict is inaccurate and frankly, odd.

    Of interest is to contrast the certainty and flowery language you used when presenting this numbered chained dagger in the post below to what can only be seen as dubious comments regarding the one here.

    Chain Dagger of SS General, Brigadefuhrer Georg Altner."

  7. #6
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    The researcher is just that. You give him the number, he goes and pulls the file, and charges you for his work. He doesn't authenticate the number, he doesn't authenticate the dagger, or anything else. I've seen bad SS numbers that have been stamped post war, with files that he did for the owners.

    You're happy with this dagger, and feel confident that is straight up legit as far as the number, and that truly is all that matters.

  8. #7

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    Quote by JRMeda View Post
    You're happy with this dagger, and feel confident that is straight up legit as far as the number, and that truly is all that matters.
    Yes, there are unfortunate cases of post war stamped numbers on daggers. I've heard stories and names of scrupulous dealers which I will not share here. Hopefully, your "Chain Dagger of SS General, Brigadefuhrer Georg Altner" number is not post war numbered... or your other wares for that matter. It's a slippery slope.

  9. #8
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    I've owned 150-200 SS daggers in the last 36 years in this hobby. In that time, I've had less than 10 that were numbered. Of that, about 6 had reachable numbers. I never intended to rile you up. And with that, will back away, let you settle down, so everyone can enjoy your wonderful, personalized SS dagger.

  10. #9

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    Hi 78th...I have to agree on what JR is saying that separate from what Ross Kelbaugh is supposed to do..which Ross is not in the business to authenticate daggers..just researching SS numbers and finding an identity to that number.

    The hard part of this particular part of the hobby is identifying the number font types used..for the period. Most of these SS daggers were crudely stamped..and were of a thinner variety number. Nickel is quite pliable when applying a number punch.

    The best answer I can give is to study as much as you can other numbered types...and there have been various punch sizes and shapes...and found on the most oddest of places. My attention was caught on the pebbling on the crossguard where the strong hit number was applied over the lightly worn away SS District Roman numeral. This dagger number may well be authentic...my point is to study as much as one can..when it narrows down to hard to trace details.

    Im not a fan of Chained SS daggers with producer logos for the very same reason..someone could of slipped a standard SS em into the Chained scabbard. Yes I know..conspiracy theorist..i know and I have been called worse...called out and called wrong..and admitted it by proof only. These types of daggers with logos and with numbers..I personally feel more comfortable coming from a reputable dealer or a direct vet purchase. Thats just me...but all I can say..is dont take my word as gospel....and study hard..we are all human here and we all do make mistakes.

    My focus of my reply..is to have all collectors study and research..and assume nothing. This dagger could swing both ways ..who knows..yet the dagger itself is period and a Gr Rohm. Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  11. #10
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    Default

    The Haertel dagger is an interesting one on several levels when researched and I am proud how the research package came out both in content and presentation. I was asked about the number and only saw a few photos of the dagger. Most of the numbered SS daggers I have researched I have not examined in hand so my expertise is with the accuracy of the research. The Haertel dagger is an interesting case on a variety of levels. First, he actually had two SS membership numbers probably due to someone's dyslexia. Both SS No. 140 082 and 140 028 turn up in the records connected to him (and nobody else) during the 1930s. In the records of the 1940s, SS No. 140 082 is the one encountered. Second, when examining his early SS-Stammrollen, it indicates that he did not receive the Ehrendolch. This prompted me to go back and look at the photos of the dagger when I noticed that it appeared to be just that. According to his records, he had no prior service in the SA or HJ before his entrance into the SS in Nov. 1933 so he didn't technically qualify to receive one. To my surprise, award of the Ehrendolch was written in on his Führerstammkarte confirming receipt. I have examined hundreds of these Führerstammkartes and this is the first encounter that I can recall seeing that. Why he received it is unclear, but the record is undeniable. Third, of the literally thousands of these personnel files I have examined over the past decade, only about 4 or 5 of the numbered daggers I have researched have a photo of the SS Mann wearing his dagger. What also struck me about this case was how ordinary some of these guys were. Haertel was sentenced to 7 days house arrest for using SS personnel to work on building an addition to his lodge in the suburbs (he had to move from his apartment in Berlin for the benefit of his wife), use of SS vehicles for transporting building materials, and constructing an addition that exceeded the limits of the building permit. He was admonished for his actions for doing this while a war was raging which set a bad example of the SS for his neighbors and, the bottom line, he was reminded that the SS command was aware that he knew better. Talk about breathing life into an artifact! For those truly interested in SS personnel research, I will be giving a one-time free lecture at the Friday night seminar at this year's The Max Show titled "The Collecting Edge: Researching Daggers, Rings, and Pins of the SS."
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