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Hitler Youth Knife

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by bikerdoc, May 21, 2020.

  1. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    hitler-youth-knife-anton-wingen-jr-3.jpg

    I got one of these. That is a stock photo, and mine is in rougher shape than that. Like the photo mine doesn't have the retention strap and my blade is in worse condition. my scales are in great condition.
    Whoever it was issued to didn't take care in sharpening and there are deep gouges in the blade. It is sharp but could be sharper. I never touched it.

    Interesting oral history. (Forgive any inaccuracies)

    With the absence of "Blood and Honor" etching on the blade it was made sometime after 1942. It was "liberated" in 44 by my Uncle Tony, a medic with the 26th "Yankee division".
    The YD was an activated National Gaurd division from Mass.
    Tony , my dad and 3 buddies joined in 38 for the simple reason that they wanted the money paid for going to drills.
    Going ashore at Normandy in the 10th wave they didn't see action until a few days later. According to them the division was on the right flank of the push to Berlin. Dec of 44 found them in Czechoslovakia when the Battle of the Bulge began. The whole division turned 90° north and pushed to relieve Bastonge
    They encountered fierce fighting the whole time and when they got closer they encountered Hitler youth troops, mere boys around 14, dressed like soldiers but untrained. One kept taking inaccurate pot shots at Tony instead of running away. Reluctant to return fire and kill a kid Tony just shot close hoping he would run away. Another medic and one of the original 5 opened up on the kid with a 45 grease gun.
    That's how they got the knife and my dad won it in a poker game.

    Any way that a long way of asking should I leave it alone, or clean up the blade?
     
  2. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    The usual collectible advice is not touch it. Leave it as is.
     
  3. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    That is a solemn story. My great uncle was infantry Dday +6, and also in Bastogne. He was in a hospital recovering from a wound that earned a purple heart when the famous orders for "anyone that can walk and carry a rifle" were given to relieve the troops in the Battle of the Bulge.
    I dont expect you will ever sell the knife. I know you are a knife enthusiast. I would suggest that you clean it up, as you like. I would also suggest that you display it in a shadow box or similar display creation, along with the story that you just related to us.
    The next generation needs reminded of the price of freedom, and the wages of evil.
     
  4. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Clean it only to the extent required to stop any ongoing corrosion for preservation purposes.

    This doesn't mean clean existing corrosion off, necessarily. That's a judgment call. Remove any existing at your discretion, but don't attempt to "pretty up" the underlying metal.
     
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  5. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I have one of those purchased at a gun show in the late 70’s. Looks authentic but I’ve always considered it a knock off.
     
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  6. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    If you can clean up the blade without losing desirable detail then I would. Then make a shadow box for it as Armored Farmer suggested.

    The damage is already done. Might as well make it look nice.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  7. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I guess I'd just keep it oiled and leave it be. It seems the more you mess with historic or collectable knives the more you damage the value.

    Though if you aren't planning to sell it maybe it doesn't matter to you.

    I have always struggled with Nazi paraphernalia. I believe it's an important part of history that should be preserved, but I just don't want it around. If I inherited something though as a part of a family member's WWII plunder history, I'd keep it for sure.

    Several years ago I was at a gun show. I shaved my head for about 20 years, and I was bald as an egg that day. I also happen to be white. I saw a display of WWII artifacts, and a Nagant revolver caught my eye. I was looking closely at it through the glass, when another person started looking also. I said "Oh you spotted it too hey?" His response was "Oh actually I was looking at these Lugers from the Nazi army." He then proceeded to make a comment about rich Jews being the only ones who could afford the prices. My jaw dropped, and I literally just turned and walked away without a word.

    I wasn't thinking but I am guessing this guy who obviously had Nazi leanings saw a bald man near Nazi items and assumed I was of his ilk. I am not, and I learned to be careful around that kind of stuff that day, especially as a bald guy.

    Anyway, sorry for the off topic story. I find it interesting that there were Hitler Youth knives. Honestly I'd never even heard of them prior to this thread. I will need to do some reading.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  8. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    @460Shooter

    You were nice. I would have knocked him out.
     
  9. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Honestly I was shocked and just couldn’t believe what happened. I always new that neonazis were out there but I’d never encountered one before. I tend to avoid people in general though. So it was a growing moment for me. Bigotry like that is disgusting and unAmerican in my opinion. Millions died fighting the nazis, many of which were Americans, and this jackass embraces the ideals of the enemy?

    Anyway, back to knife talk. I like the idea some others have about a shadow box. I’ve done that with some guns and think it looks nice.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  10. rust collector
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    rust collector Contributing Member

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    Dad brought one back, no inscription on blade. "Friend" insisted on trying to stick it in telephone pole, and broke one scale and bent tip. Not hard blade metal, and chrome on butt was beginning to flake. Memories, yes, but not particularly pleasant. Sold at a gun show.
    If you want shiny, replica can supply that. I would neutralize rust, protect what remains with wax, and write down the provenance for those who acquire it later. Display or not, but conserve.
     
  11. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    It is a piece of world history as well as your families history. Preserving it as such is a good idea.
     
  12. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    Armored farmer has given you the plan, go ahead and do it!
     
  13. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    doc

    I'm pretty much in the same frame of mind as everyone else here who say clean it up to preserve it but don't go any further by refinishing it. It's a piece of history just as it is, albeit from the enemy's side of things, and the story behind it should be remain as a reminder for future generations to take note of.

    My Dad was in Europe during WWII and was wounded during the Battle of the Bulge. He was a POW til the German Army hospital he was in was liberated in April, 1945. After the war he was very active in numerous Veterans organizations as well as his Army division's association, which with the help of a nearby college, organized and opened their own museum nearly 20 years ago.

    As part of the college's involvement their history students recorded many living history recollections from the veterans, my father's included. This was done so others might know first hand what actually happened to those soldiers back then instead of reading something written by someone who never experienced wartime conditions or being in combat.
     
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Lube with mineral oil and wipe very gently with soft rag.
     
  15. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Just finished, cleaned and oiled.
    Now I start on a presentation case!

    Just wish the kid had not gouged it up. Looks Like he used a file.
     
  16. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    The trigger guy died last year at 99. His son may have recorded something, I'll try to track him down.
     
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    If you don't know how to clean it up to preserve it you should leave it alone. Nothing more than oil, terry cloth and elbow grease...lots of elbow grease. Basically, coat the blade in penetrating oil and wrap in an oiled cloth overnight. Take a terry towel to it and keep applying light machine oil until it comes clean. Once the terry cloth comes clean from the oiled blade you can wipe it down and use an anti rust oil on the blade.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Most were.
     
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  19. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    Kind of a boring question with out the back story though.

    I'd probably just leave it alone or maybe... possibly... lightly oil and leave it alone.
     
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  20. red rick

    red rick Member

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    I think the most important thing is writing down the story and keeping it with the knife and keeping the knife from rusting .
     
  21. Hikingman

    Hikingman Member

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    That blade looks somewhat dark, and is it a carbon steel vs. high shine steel? The Buck (brand) #121 knife that I sold after 40 years- blade looked about like new.
     
  22. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    A handy way to do this is print out the story on two Avery labels and stick them on each side of a hang tag and then tie the tag to the knife.
     
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  23. rust collector
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    rust collector Contributing Member

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    And it is a fahrtenmesser. I once thought that meant youth knife, but learned that it is a generic term for sheath knife or what we call a fixed blade knife. This particular model is a fahrtenmesser hitlerjugend.
     
  24. 25-5
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    25-5 Contributing Member

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    A bit off, but does ts this scout knife, stamped Solingen Germany, related in any way? Repurposed perhaps. scout knife 2.jpg
     
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  25. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    The style is the same and they were standard Scout knives until the '50s.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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