12-26-2015 03:48 PM
Great example Mattty ..Im sure You share the same joy as I do with my CH SS. Hibernation condition..a sleeper for sure . A Great collection center piece. Congrats. Best 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
Fantastic condition. Total eye candy right there!
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Thankyou for the kind words guys.
I enjoy learning about the history behind these SS swords and Paul Müller at Dachau.
Paul Müller was raised and brought up in Solingen where he spent his time establishing himself as a blacksmith having learnt directly from his father. It wasn't until June 1938 at an exhibition "Working People" in Dusseldorf that he earn't his title as a craftsman. This same year he participated in an international craft exhibition in Berlin, where he met Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler.
It was during this period the SS were looking to bring ss sword production under there own umbrella so after the event they had a meeting with Müller where they offered him a permanent work with a contract for more than 600 reichmarks a month (alot of money).
Before Paul Müller went to Dachau, he was offered two alternative forging plants - one at Wewelsburg and the other a blacksmith shop in Berlin. Müller decided on Dachau, apparently the reason being he liked the scenery there.
Paul Müllers contract started from 13 march 1939 at Dachau. The teaching forge belonged to SS Division "Totenkopf", it wasn't very big but there were about 10 men, of whom 5 were apprentices. It was here that the apprentices learnt the new art of stainless steel and Damascus blades.
I am yet to find or read of any evidence to suggest that there were prisoners from the nearby compound working here, although 'its possible' some of the more not so nice work (ie ashes, moving of steel shipments) could have been carried out by these prisoners.
Dachau was liberated by the 42nd & 45th US 7th Army 29th April 1945, but work at this forge had ceased well before then. Upon arrival US troops found sword parts at the forge so after the war took the opportunity to put them together as bring backs. Such examples do exist, but from what we know they are easily spotted because of the bad fit. There was a shortage of scabbard liners, so swords were thrown together without and ones that were fitted were loose having not been 'installed' properly.
Its unlikely Müller ever commited any war crimes at Dachau as politically he wasn't heavily motivated by the Nazi ideology. However, he was based at the Dachau forge yards away from where many were mistreated and murdered.
He was never tried or investigated.
Less than a year later in early April 1946 he moved back to Solingen leaving Dachau behind.
Paul Müller went on to produce 'fantasy' edged weapons at Solingen until his death in the 1971.
Best regards matty
This seems to be the only picture of Paul Müller working at the Dachau forge. The exact location is uncertain but it was next door to the main camp in the SS section. This area is now part of the Bavarian Police complex so not accessible to the public.
US soldiers on guard shortly after liberation at the southwest gate leading into the SS garrison where the forge was located.
Last edited by matty01; 12-28-2015 at 04:08 PM.
Matty, Having a general interest in manufacturing and especially in the TR period I read with interest the information in the above posting with an eye to incorporating it into what I’ve previously learned or believe to be correct. But a few statements bothered me, vaguely recalling a somewhat different version published by Tom Johnson in one of his early books. So after some checking out of his English language translation where he says that everything that was in the letters from Paul Müller’s personal SS file is presented in his book (they were not reproduced so I can’t verify if they seemed to be authentic, which in any event is probably better left to document specialists).
Here is a condensed version of what seems to be the body of period evidence seen to date from that source: A June 1939 internal SS letter as it regards a contract where Müller is to instruct designated SS members in the art of making Damascus swords to preserve that specific art form at Dachau. Very shortly after that an SS-Colonel (and apparently others) complained about the contract, but it was approved anyway in July of 1939. September 1939 a letter from Müller where he says that he made some stainless steel blades in 1928 which he patented, and then the Carl Eickhorn company forced the rejection of his patent (sidenote: there is early RZM period documentation that specifies a “Chrom-Stahl” (stainless) type of blade for HJ knives that if used was for a very short period.) From the same letter, that on an unspecified but earlier date Müller and an industrial supplier to the trade from whom Müller was purchasing stainless steel got into an argument about a sworn statement involving the Eickhorn company that was said to be the grounds for the rejection of his (Müller’s) patent.
[Separate SS file: January 1941 an order stating that the (ordinary) SS swords would no longer be awarded due to the steel quota system that was formally published in June of 1942. In August of 1942 the wearing of swords was completely forbidden for other than special occasions for the rest of the war.]
A letter in September of 1941 regarding a leave of absence for Müller for 1940 and 1941 due to his age and health. With a stipulation that if the RF-SS Himmler wanted a special order made (presumably one of the Damascus Birthday swords) that Müller was to be ready to carry out a request for the RF-SS. An author’s note that less than 10 students were assigned to the school with only three of them remaining in April of 1943 when they were assigned elsewhere - included is the April 1943 letter regarding the reassigned students from Müller. Lastly, two letters to Müller in both April and in May that acknowledge the transfer of the students, asking if Müller was still going to be making Damascus blades minus his students that was never answered (or was not on file for some reason).
There is more, but I’m trying to not overcomplicate the matter while still trying to sort out or reconcile the two somewhat different accounts of what happened as it concerned the specific use of stainless steel. That I imagine could be relatively easily resolved with some period documentation to clarify the matter. Best Regards, Fred
Last edited by Frogprince; 12-29-2015 at 06:22 PM.
Reason: typo correction
Frogprince, thankyou for your opinion.
I thought you disliked Dachau produced swords or anything produced by Muller.
I agree that my sword is a six months earlier than I previously stated so I have altered my post to a mid 1939 production date rather than early 1940.
What are the somewhat different accounts that 'bother' you other than you suggest Paul Muller didn't produce swords during 40-41? If that is what you are saying I respect your opinion but imo they were produced up until then.
Also you mention Paul muller as being in the SS - this again is something I didn't know. Can this be supported with period documentation, a service number or something? Or even better a period photo?
Looking at the above photo he doesn't look very SS however OK I respect your view.
Locate your literature so we can recall dates as they are, rather than vaguely. My literature is above. It is taken from various sources, books, internet and mostly translated from German so I agree it may vary from yours but that is the best I have found.
Please try and keep the thread reasonably simply Fred. Remember we're trying to educate people at different levels , too complex is uninteresting to beginners as they cannot keep up.
Last edited by matty01; 12-29-2015 at 10:34 PM.