WW2 GERMAN SS BELT BUCKLE
BACKGROUND: The new SS style buckle was adopted for wear by EM/NCO personnel in late 1931 or early 1932. Generally the early buckles were produced in solid nickel/silver until sometime in 1936 when aluminum alloys replaced the nickel/silver versions. In 1940 the EM/NCO’s belt buckles began to be manufactured in steel replacing the aluminum alloy buckles. Of Note: The RZM, Reichzeugmeisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster), was officially founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster’s Department. The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized. Starting in late 1934 items manufactured for the SS came under the quality control of the RZM and as a result were to be marked with the RZM/SS approval/acceptance mark. In 1943 the Waffen-SS assumed full control over their uniform item production and no longer fell under the authority of the RZM were no longer required to mark their items with the RZM stamp or codes.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Stamped steel construction, standard pattern, box buckle. The obverse of the buckle features a smooth outer field with a high relief, embossed central motif consisting of an SS style national eagle with out-stretched wings, clutching a wreath encompassing a static swastika. The swastika and wreath are in turn encompassed by a circular simulated twisted rope border with Gothic script motto, "Meine Ehre heißt Treue!", (My Honour is Loyalty!). The script is situated on a subtly textured background field and is encircled by the inner and an outer simulated twisted rope borders. The reverse of the buckle is a mirror image of the obverse and has the brazed buckle catch, prong bar and prongs all intact. This combat worn buckle retains small traces of its original finish to the front and rear of the buckle.