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  1. #11

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    rite of passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry View Post
    Hi Haen,
    Again, very interesting. Could you tell us more on that? All of the literature I and I'm sure the rest of the members have read suggest that being presented with the knife marked a rite of passage (the Pimpfenprobe for example) and that it had to be earned. Difficult for us today to imagine a boy going to the nearest RZM outlet, buying a HJ knife and just sticking it on his belt.
    Looking forward to hearing more!
    Weird, isn't it ? But as always, there were exceptions to rules, if you were well connected. The only thing you could not easily get, were "merit badges" etc. (Leistungs abzeigen, Schiess abzeigen) unless you could prove that they were replacements for lost ones or so.
    You are correct, in general (99% ?) it had to be earned.
    It was for most of the kids an honour to receive one.
    And also in general one could not just go to the nearest RZM outlet (would not even have known where to find one and buy one. As a matter of fact, as you collectors know, not all knives were stamped, or even engraved, and even when they were, there were differences.
    If I remember correctly, mine came through an Uncle (Ostuf.) But as I said, it was of lesser quality than the one I later received in the Wehr-Sportskamp.
    Now ! please don't take this as gospel. at 84 some of these memories are quite old.
    OK I hope i have added enough to the confusion :001_tt2:
    Last edited by haen; 1st June 2010 at 11:40 PM. Reason: typos

  2. #12

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    Hi Guys,
    Just had a thought ( first time for everything)
    I remember a Specialist tailorshop in Amsterdam, in the 'Leidse straat, that made and sold tailormade uniforms for the German military. Including S.A, HJ R.A.D. etc.
    They also had a supply of decorations, swords, daggers, etc, on display that could be purchased ( i think you had to supply evidence that you were entitled to them).
    So it might not have been all that hard afteral to get an extra, which you then could sell to someone else.
    Just a random memory/thought.

  3. #13
    Very interesting insight Haen. In the UK we call people like that 'walts' (short for Walter Mitty) :) These are the people who turn up at remembrance day parades for example wearing a chest full of medals they never actually earned.

  4. #14

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    I imagine achievement badges were strictly controlled, i worked when i was still in school for what was the 'scout shop' which sold outdoor gear but also the uniforms for cubs scouts guides etc in the UK and of course the badges and they were very strictly kept so no one could get them when they hadnt earned them, i imagine it was similar 70 years previously.

    I wonder if anyone collected or had any preference for particular makers back in the 30's

  5. #15

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    private purchases

    Of course you are correct; but . . . . .what stops a Legitimate owner from buying "backup" decorations ( as for example MANY german soldiers earning high decorations like Ritterkreuz or so , did) .
    They would wear the purchased original replica(?), and lock the original up in a safe place.
    So . . . .it's not all that far fetched that such also could have been done with lesser rewards.
    I bought for myself at the time a "chromed" K98 bajonet for wearing when going on leave. It also had an engraving translated: (in memory of my service time).
    Actually it is not really important, other than it makes for a headache for legitimate collectors, and trained or self professed experts.
    I am happy at this time with my replacements, "real" or not. For me it is just a trip down memorylane. And when I pass on, not too long from now I guess, the only one of my grandsons who is really interested in that part of my past, will get them, with the understanding that they may or may not be the true McCoy.
    As i said before, I am not an expert, and would not begin to know what to look for.
    Last edited by haen; 3rd June 2010 at 04:53 AM. Reason: typos

  6. #16
    Going by the regulations and certainly with the numbered badges i.e. the original issue it would have been impossible for a boy or young man to get one without first proving that he had earned it because the achievement book went through many hands right up to RJF level and back before the badge was in the boys' hands and able to be worn.

    With the 'B' (replacement) badges it was a different story though of course and any abuse of the system would have happened with those badges I would think. It would have been possible for a boy who had legitimately qualified for a badge to then apply for and buy a B badge for his mate, give him that one and continue to wear his original. Easy to imagine how other boys would have reacted to someone wearing a badge he hadn't earned though :)

  7. #17

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    numbering / cerification, of HJknives

    You are absolutely correct; as long as you see it from the standpoint of the time that everything was still functioning normally, and the SYSTEM worked.

    "Aber" . . . . . after the mass bombing of Aachen and Cologne for example, there were lots of records lost. Some of them were made up again from memory, and info supplied by people. (what a chance to glorify oneselves)

    Furthermore there were migrations from one district to another, often not all that well documented. These people (kids) were naturally accepted in the local structures, but some of the info had to be taken at face value of information supplied.
    Each HJ member had a membership pass. but during the moves many of them were lost; again, info supplied by the newcomer had to be taken at face value.

    I am NOT saying that the system did not work !!!!!! With "Deutsche Grundlichkeit it worked flawless 99% of the time. Little slip ups not withstanding.

    I am referring to the years of war, bombings, migrations, head over heels flight, etc. etc. Records lost, people lost, posessions lost etc.

    So. YES you are correct, but please leave a little opening for mistakes and "Zeitgeist" less than perfect procedures.

    Thus. we are in agreement afteral.

    Keep up the good work !!! It's people like you that keep the rest of us on the straight and narrow.


  8. #18
    Oh, we are definitely in agreement Haen :) I'm mainly talking about the period up to September 1939 as that period is usually safe territory for us guys today because it was all regulated and there is still masses of material for us to find and read. As the war progressed many compromises had to made (as you know only too well) and so the waters for the later period can be very muddy for those collecting and researching today. That is why your experience is so valuable because it can help greatly to put things into perspective.

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