The Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend) was one of the earliest branches of the NSDAP, beginning in 1922, and comprised of boys ages ten to eighteen. Similar to today's Boy Scouts, the HJ taught physical and outdoors training but also provided a beginning to political indoctrination. Girls on the other hand joined the BMD (Bund Deutscher Mädel), a branch similar to our Girl Guides. In 1933 a knife for the HJ was introduced. Upon earning specific qualifications, the boys were able to wear their very own HJ Knife.
Like all German edged weapons, early pieces reflected the highest quality work with the best materials. Early period knives had nickeled steel hilts with black bakelite checkered grip plates. The obverse plate was fitted with an enameled HJ swastika insignia. Through 1938, these knives were acid etched with the HJ motto, "Blut und Ehre!" (Blood and Honor!). Scabbards were made of seamless sheet steel with a riveted leather hanger attached to the back. Later period examples were made with plain blades and usually held an RZM marking, and zinc based hilts.
In 1937 the organization adopted a leader dagger for older professionals in charge of training and educating the HJ youth. Wear for each of these was personally approved by Adolf Hitler. Each Hitler Youth Leader dagger was presented in a special red leather presentation case. Hitler Youth Leader daggers had silvered hilt fittings with a blue/black leather covered scabbard. The grip is wood based with tightly wrapped silver twisted wire. The pommel cap featured an HJ diamond to the top. The upper scabbard fitting portrayed an open-winged Hitler Youth eagle with swastika cut into the bird's chest. The blade was always also etched with the Hitler Youth motto, "Blut und Ehre!" (Blood and Honor!).
If you would like to learn more about Hitler Youth Daggers we have provided a guide for beginning collectors.