Nothing LATVIAN about it - this is not the " Fire cross " ( a single static swastika ) of the 19th Waffen Division .
It is a collar tab for temporary guards assigned to KZ Lager , and IMO a fine original - as found unissued in the storage depots of Dachau .
NOT as rare as the Latvian single swaz , though ..
Yes it's the collar tab of concentration camp guards
"In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem
P.S. : and at that 145,- Euro bargain price I would have bought it myself - but I have one already ..
All true - KZ camp guard that was assigned as a "temporary." As he "healed" or otherwise took leave from original unit. As I have heard, they were not allowed in some parts of the camp.... I paid $175 for mine...
The double-armed collar patch came to be following the mass transfer of some 10,000 men, NCOs and officers of the replacement army to the camp system in 1944.
Originally, it had been intended to issue a collar patch with a capital letter "W" to the temporary wartime guards, who would simultaneously be prohibited from wearing the traditional death's head collar patch; but this was not implemented and the "W" collar patch was never manufactured or worn.
Instead, the collar patch with the double-armed Swastika was introduced; apparently it was originally to be worn by the Wehrmacht transferees only, but in June 1944 the decision was made to have all concentration camp staff- and guard personnel - whether permanent full SS members or temporary draftees/transferees - wear the patch, restricting wear of the traditional "death's head" collar patches to personnel of the Totenkopf-Division only. Full SS members were authorized to wear the SS breast runes as a distinguishing badge, same as with those serving with foreign W-SS formations that were also not authorized "SS runes"- or "death's head" collar patches either.
This was never fully implemented before the end of the war. Judging by period photographs of camp guard personnel, the collar patches with the double-armed Swastika were only worn by a minority of men, with "death's head"- or runic collar patches being far more common.
Statement by Franz Ziereis , Lagerkommandant of Mauthausen , taken after his capture in 1945 .
Note the remark about WH & LW replacement guards ..
In wear ..