Monday, October 27, 2014

I ended up with the real thing

postwar hj knife
Sometime around 1957, my parents took me on a vacation to Niagara Falls and Canada where I picked up what I took to be a hunting knife with a fleur-de-lis insignia in the grip.
I thought it was cool – something about it resonated with me. My mother felt otherwise and somehow made it disappear after a few weeks at home. I searched the house diligently over the years, as late as 2001 after her death, but never found it. I guess she put it into the trash.
Fast forward a few decades when I discovered that my knife was actually a Hitler Youth knife, made after World War II from leftover parts with the fleur-de-lis substituted for the diamond-shaped Hitler Youth insignia.
The original Hitler Jugend Fahrtenmesser (hiking knife) bore the motto “Blut und Ehre!” (Blood and Honor!) on the blade. HJ knives produced after 1938 omitted the motto.
My postwar parts knife is long gone, but I do own a nice pre-war HJ Fahrtenmesser (not the one pictured – I was too lazy to photograph my HJ knife, so I found a suitable image on the Internet, although the pictured knife may be a repro). Kids being kids, they treated the knives roughly, so HJ knives in good shape are rare.
I found a photo of the postwar example online the other day, which triggered this blog entry.

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