Partisan Converted Hitler Youth Knife 300
Partisan Converted Hitler Youth Knife - This 245 mm long knife's blade has had the Hitler Youth motto "Blut und Ehre" (Blood and Honor) erased, exhibits pitting and scratches overall, maker marked "RZM M7/93" on the ricasso (Ewald Cleff, Solingen), buffer pad intact, hilt fittings exhibit loss of nickel-plating, exposing the raw steel below, contact marks at the base of the pommel, black bakelite grip plates on both sides have been carved into, exposing the brown bakelite core below, one side has the Hammer and Sickle insignia above a Star, symbolic of the Communist Partisan movement, the other side with "TITO" (Marshal Josip Broz Tito, leader of the Yugoslav Partisans), steel scabbard exhibits extensive black paint loss and scratches from active usage, measuring 146 mm long, original leather belt loop remains relatively supple and firmly attached to the scabbard. A rare WWII collectible, in fine condition. Footnote: Marshal Josip Broz Tito (May 7, 1892 – May 4, 1980) was the leader of the Yugoslav Partisan, Europe's most effective anti-Nazi resistance movement and a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman, serving in various roles from 1945 until his death in 1980. On April 6, 1941, German forces, with Hungarian and Italian assistance, launched an invasion of Yugoslavia. On April 10, 1941, Slavko Kvaternik proclaimed the Independent State of Croatia, with Tito responding by forming a Military Committee within the Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party. Attacked from all sides, the armed forces of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia quickly crumbled. After King Peter II and other members of the government fled the country on April 17th, the remaining representatives of the government and military met with the German officials in Belgrade. They quickly agreed to end military resistance. Tito issued a pamphlet on May 1st, calling on the people to unite in a battle against the occupation. On June 27th, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia appointed Tito Commander-in-Chief of all project national liberation military forces, with the Comintern sending precise instructions calling for immediate action on July 1st. Despite conflicts with the rival monarchic Chetnik movement, Tito's Partisans succeeded in liberating territory, notably the "Republic of Uzice". During this period, Tito held talks with Chetnik leader Draza Mihailovic on September 19th and October 27th. It is said that Tito ordered his forces to assist escaping Jews, and that more than 2,000 Jews fought directly for Tito. On December 21, 1941, the Partisans created the First Proletarian Brigade and on March 1, 1942, Tito created the Second Proletarian Brigade. With the growing possibility of an Allied invasion in the Balkans, the Axis began to divert more resources to the destruction of the Partisans main force and its high command. This meant, among other things, a concerted German effort to capture Josip Broz Tito personally. On May 25, 1944, he managed to evade the Germans after the Raid on Drvar, an airborne assault outside his Drvar headquarters in Bosnia. After the Partisans managed to endure and avoid these intense Axis attacks between January and June 1943, and the extent of Chetnik collaboration became evident, Allied leaders switched their support from Milhailovic to Tito. King Peter II, American President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill joined Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in officially recognizing Tito and the Partisans at the Tehran Conference. This resulted in Allied aid being parachuted behind Axis lines to assist the Partisans. In September 1944, King Peter II called on all Yugoslavs to come together under Tito's leadership and stated that those who did not were "traitors", by which time Tito was recognized by all Allied authorities (including the government-in-exile) as the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, in addition to Commander-in-Chief of the Yugoslav Forces. On September 28, 1944, the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) reported that Tito signed an agreement with the Soviet Union, allowing "temporary entry" of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory which allowed the Red Army to assist in operations in the northeastern areas of Yugoslavia. With their strategic right flank secured by the Allied advance, the Partisans prepared and executed a massive general offensive which succeeded in breaking through German lines and forcing a retreat beyond Yugoslav borders. After the Partisan victory and the end of hostilities in Europe, all external forces were ordered off Yugoslav territory. Post-war, while his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was "seen by most as a "benevolent dictator" due to his successful economic and diplomatic policies. He was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad. Viewed as a unifying symbol, his internal policies successfully maintained the peaceful coexistence of the nations of the Yugoslav federation.