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This item is part of The Notable Figures Auction Series - The Estate of SS-Obergruppenführer Arthur Seyss-Inquart . Click Here to view all items in this collection.

eMedals-Germany, SS. A Model 1936 Chained SS Leader’s Dagger Belonging to SS-Obergruppenführer Arthur Seyss-Inquart

Item: G45730

Germany, SS. A Model 1936 Chained SS Leader’s Dagger Belonging to SS-Obergruppenführer Arthur Seyss-Inquart

$8,100

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Germany, SS. A Model 1936 Chained SS Leader’s Dagger Belonging to SS-Obergruppenführer Arthur Seyss-Inquart

(SS-Ehrendolch). A rare and extremely well-preserved Model 1936 Chained SS Leader’s Dagger, belonging to SS-Obergruppenführer Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Reichskommissar for the occupied Netherlands. It measures 370 mm in length when inserted into the scabbard. The dagger features a 220 mm-long nickel-plated magnetic metal blade with a sharpened tip and semi-sharpened edges. The obverse of the blade features an acid-etched inscription of “MEINE EHRE HEIßT TREUE” (“MY HONOUR IS LOYALTY”) in Fraktur script. It sits securely within the nickel-silver upper crossguard, which is marked with eight notches, with four each distributed at the top and bottom. The crossguard sits flush with the black-painted wooden handle, which is inset with dual insignia. Set into the handle is a silvered metallic eagle measuring 25 mm (w) x 15 mm (h), while the pommel bears an enameled SS insignia measuring 9 mm in diameter. The dagger completes with a nickel-silver lower crossguard, similarly marked with eight notches, and bears a pommel net which securely maintains the structural integrity of the dagger. Wrapped around the handle is a SS portepee, constructed of multiple rows of twisted and rolled silver aluminum wire and completing in a stylized acorn. It is accompanied by its period original scabbard, constructed of a black-painted magnetic metal shaft. The scabbard features three magnetic metal adornments, each held in place by dual side rivets. At the mid-section, the applicable adornment bears link stylized swastikas around the circumference. The throat fixture retains a functional metal spring clip, securely holding the dagger in place during storage. Both the throat fixture and the mid-section fixture bear integral loops which connect to a chain dagger hanger. Constructed of magnetic metal, the hanger consists of six links, three of which bear raised Totenkopfs, while the other three display raised double Sig runes. Both links of chain complete in a stylized knotted swastika, in turn bearing a functional spring clip. 

 

It is accompanied by an undated press photograph depicting Seyss-Inquart seated in conversation with Reichssportführer Hans von Tschammer und Osten. Unmarked, the photograph measures 178 mm (w) x 130 mm (h). Also included is a gratitude card, addressed to Seyss-Inquart from Hans Frank, with a possible date of 1938. Constructed of off-white paper stock, the card measures 190 mm (w) x 148 mm (h). While the group is very well-preserved, some issue consisting with age and use are evident, including running marks to the blade of the dagger, with oxidation of the metal features; material fatigue of the portepee, and discolouration of both paper items. The group is in an overall near extremely fine condition.

 

Footnote: 

Arthur Seyß-Inquart was born on July 22, 1892 in the village of Stannern (present-day Stonařov, southern Czech Republic) near the town of Iglau (Jihlava). This was a German speaking community within a Czech dominated area in Moravia, at the time part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The family moved to Vienna in 1907.

 

Seyß-Inquart began to study law at the university of Vienna, and earned his degree during the First War in 1917 while recovering from being wounded. As a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army he saw action in Russia, Romania, and Italy. He received several bravery decorations and at the end of the war held the rank of Oberleutnant (first lieutenant). 

 

After the war, Seyß-Inquart developed close ties with several right wing and fascist organisations, among them the Vaterländische Front (Fatherland Front). He became a successful lawyer and had his own practice since 1921. In 1933, Seyß-Inquart went into Austrian politics and joined the cabinet of chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß.

 

Through growing influence and support by non other than A.H. himself, Seyß-Inquart eventually became Austrian Minister of the Interior in February of 1938. With the looming annexation of Austria by Germany in March of the same year, Austrian chancellor Schuschnigg stepped down. Seyß-Inquart was chosen as his successor due to immense pressure applied on the Austrian government by the NSDAP. 

 

He served in this position for less than two days, until the Anschluss was completed. Seyß-Inquart signed the documents that legalised the annexation of Austria by Germany. After his office had ceased to exist, he was named Reichsstatthalter (Reich Governor) of the Ostmark, the newly created province that Austria had become as part of Greater Germany. 

 

Being a fanatical anti-Semite, Seyß-Inquart almost immediately ordered the confiscation of Jewish property and had the Austrian Jews sent to concentration camps. He received the honorary SS rank of Gruppenführer in May of 1939, and would go on to become an SS-Obergruppenführer in 1941.

 

After the attack on Poland at the beginning of the Second War, Seyß-Inquart was named deputy to Hans Frank, the General Governor of occupied Poland. He supported Frank in the deportation of Polish Jews. Seyß-Inquart was also aware of the systematic murder of Polish intellectuals by the German secret service “Abwehr”.

 

In May of 1940, A.H. named Seyß-Inquart Reich Commissioner of the Netherlands. His policies concerning the Dutch Jews were no different than his policies had been concerning the Jews in Austria and Poland, in that they were ousted from governmental, and leading press and industry positions, their property seized, before being sent to concentration camps. Of the 140,000 Jews that were registered in the Netherlands in 1941, only 30,000 survived the war.

 

During his reign of terror, Seyß-Inquart also authorized the execution of at least 800 people, ranging from political prisoners to resistance fighters. At the end of the war, he was arrested by Allied forces and became one of the 24 defendants during the Nuremberg trials against the major war criminals. Seyß-Inquart was found guilty in three out of four charges and executed by hanging on October 16, 1946.

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