HJ / Hitler Youth Knives
These items were highly prized as war trophies and souvenirs by Allied soldiers, and are now highly collectible.
One of the most recognisable organisations of Third Reich Germany was the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth).
Formed in 1922 it recruited school-boys aged ten to eighteen with a structure and appeal along the lines of the Boy Scouts. An appealing outdoor and adventure-based curriculum concealed a deliberate framework for political indoctrination. The training became progressively more militaristic as the war progressed.
The characteristic Hitler Youth Knife was introduced in 1933 and was awarded based upon earning specific qualifications.
Some knives feature the HJ motto of "Blut und Ehre!" (Blood and Honor!), whilst many do not. Scabbards were made of steel with a leather hanger.
Experts generally appraise items across three periods.
1933-1936 early period: Steel hilt, some feature motto on the blade, thin bladed, maker marked, low or no ricasso.
1936-1940 transitional period: Thicker blades, RZM designations start to be used, high ricasso, mixture of maker marks and RZM marks and some mottos.
1938-1942 later period: Thick blades, high ricasso, no motto, some with RZM marks and later ones with no markings.
With at least 150 makers of these items, there are many variations and configurations to be seen in the market that are genuine items.
There are also many fakes, some obvious ‘out of the factory’ looking items with clearly modern machining and etching, but also cleverly aged and worn fakes.
Best to buy such items from a reliable source confident enough to offer a money back guarantee on their pieces, as we do.
In the course of WW2 militaria collecting and study, museums and private collectors will acquire items of all nationalities, including German. We see this as a legitimate aspect of militaria research and collecting.
We make no political or revisionist statements whatsoever, merely provide an online platform for military antiques and collectables of all styles.
To see more on our policy in this regard CLICK HERE.
The HJ Knife, from symbol of political indoctrination to Allied war trophy