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Deutsches Technikmuseum - June

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:

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The donation contains six locations:

Exhibit of the Month June 2016

Photo: Two daggers are lying next to each other for comparison purposes. They are made of metal, wood and leather. The materials of the one dagger are extremely corroded while the other dagger is almost undamaged.

Flyer’s daggers from the National Socialism era: The find and a comparative object © SDTB / Photo: C. Kirchner

Flyer’s daggers from the National Socialism era, 1934 - 1945

In 2015, a group of boys from Doberlug-Kirchhain in Brandenburg made an unexpected discovery in the ground as they were playing: They dug up a partially corroded rusty dagger. Together with their teacher they brought their find to the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin.

Initially the new museum piece was sent to the restoration workshop. An examination determined that the weapon had been lying underground for many decades.

In light of the material’s decayed state, the restorers had to be extremely careful while cleaning it. In order to stabilize its condition and prevent any further deterioration, the dagger was treated with special solvents and binders. When compared to a second, almost completely undamaged dagger, it becomes clear just what effects the various external influences had on the different materials.

Photo detail: The upper part of the discovered dagger´s scabbard. Its former blue leather ist nearly decomposed, the metal of the scabbard and the dagger´s crossguard are deeply corroded.

Clearly visible: This dagger was buried for a very long time. © SDTB / Photo: C. Kirchner

Flyer’s daggers - part of the parade uniform

Flyer’s daggers were manufactured in Solingen and other cities between 1934 and 1945 and issued to members of the German Air Sports Association (DLV) and, after 1937, to those of its successor organization, the National Socialist Flying Corps (NSFK).

Both organizations were responsible for pre-military training in preparation for service in the Luftwaffe. During the NS era, members wore these kinds of daggers on the left side of their service and dress uniforms during parades or similar occasions. Regardless of rank, the standard blue uniform of the DLV and NSFK included a brown shirt and a swastika armband in addition to the flyer’s dagger.

The reason for the flyer’s dagger having been buried can presently only be surmised. One possibility might be that the former owner did not want to be recognized as a member of an NS organization.