|During the World War II era, the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (DRK) or German Red Cross was a volunteer organization that provided emergency assistance during disasters in German, much like the International Red Cross provides disaster assistance around the world today. The organization was under control of the Reich Ministry of the Interior, and although the rank and file were unpaid volunteers, the leaders of the organization were full time, paid employees. Like most civil organizations during the reign of the Third Reich, this civilian group had a military style command and control structure, the leaders wore military style uniforms, and the leaders and subordinates within the organization were authorized to wear a “dagger”. In the case of the rank and file, or subordinate members of the DRK, the “dagger” was a blunt blade hewer with a saw-back blade. The unique design was two fold, intended to be a tool for the DRK members that would be useful in performing their duties in the field, and at the same time avoid being viewed as a “weapon”, as the International Red Cross prohibited the carry or use of weapons by those working under that banner. The DRK Subordinate Hewer was authorized for wear in 1938 and was 15.8” in overall length with a 10.5” long blade and 5.3” long hilt. The hilt was unique in that the two scales (grip panels) were of different styles, with the obverse panel being checkered hard rubber and the reverse panel being smooth hard rubber. The metal mountings were either nickel or silver-plated. The DRK logo, a stylized drop-winged Nazi Eagle with a Swastika on its breast and the Red Cross symbol in its talons was prominently placed on the obverse crossguard. The scabbards were steel, painted a gloss black with either nickel or silver plated fittings, matching the hewer. The scabbard was carried in a leather frog, similar to those used for bayonets.
This particular DRK Subordinate (Red Cross) Hewer is in VERY GOOD+ to NEAR FINE condition. It is full length and 100% complete and correct. The blade is in very nice condition and is free of any pitting. The obverse of the blade is a mixture of some original bright polish with some scattered light brown patina and patches of darker oxidized age discoloration. The reverse of the blade retains more of the original bright polish and shows less patina and discoloration. A careful light cleaning of the blade would restore much of the original blade brilliance with only a little time and effort. As is typical of the “Red Cross” hewers, the blade has no makers mark present. The mountings of the hewer are nickel-plated and have a somewhat dull, milky appearance. There is some minor flaking, bubbling and plating loss on the crossguard and somewhat more bubbling and loss on the pommel cap. The crossguard retains about 90%+ of its original plating and the pommel cap retains about 80% of its plating. The original leather throat washer is in place at the juncture of the blade ricasso and the hilt and it is in very good and complete condition. The grip panels are in FINE condition, and are free of any breaks, cracks or repairs. They show only some light handling marks and minor surface scratches from carry and use. The metal scabbard is in FINE condition, it is free of any dents or dings and retains about 85%+ of its original black painted finish, with only some light surface scratches and a couple of minor chips in the paint. The throat and drag are nickel plated, matching the fittings on the hewer. Both the throat and drag have the same dull, milky patina as the hewer fittings and retain about 90%+ of their original plating. The scabbard retains its original leather frog, which is in VERY GOOD+ to NEAR FINE condition. The frog remains strong and supple with some minor finish crazing, but all of the original stitching remaining tight and in place. The frog is reinforced by four aluminum rivets, all of which are in place as they should be. The reverse of the frog is marked in three lines: CARL BUSSE in an arc, over MAINZ / 1940. The mark is fairly clear, although the location and date are slightly obscured by minor wear to the frog.
Overall, this is very nice condition and untouched example of DRK (Red Cross) Subordinate Hewer. The hewer is untouched, and in lovely shape with a really nice scabbard and frog. These hewers are quite collectible are regularly priced in the $800 to $1,000 range without their frogs. This one is priced under that and retains the original frog with a strong makers mark on the reverse. This is a very nice Nazi Red Cross Hewer that you will proud to add to your collection and will look wonderful in your display of Nazi daggers and edged weapons. SOLD