The Robert C. Dold, and other, military belt buckles
The recent article by Dr. Frank Thayer appearing in the ‘Military Advisor’ magazine on the SS enlisted personnel belt buckles by Robert Dold (RODO) has stirred up controversy among certain collectors and members of militaria forums.
When the article appeared, there were public outcries from several German militaria forum participants, including leaders of the belt buckle sections and authors of material on the same subject.
Their cry was that all the buckles shown in the Thayer article were fakes. They produced no evidence in support of their claim but made a great deal of outraged noise.
A careful search of photographs and other material concerning the RODO buckles has very clearly shown that the buckles shown in the article are completely genuine to the period.
Why, then has such a vicious attack been made on Dr. Thayer and his buckles?
The German militaria collecting world, like the world of fine art, is controlled by a few individuals and their allies. The forums are merely sounding boards for merchandisers as well as ego-builders for those with personality deficiencies.
In this case, typical of its kind, there is a created demand for RODO buckles and to augment a small supply of genuine ones, dealers and their cooperative “experts” have filled the need.
They do this by purchasing modern replica buckles, antiquing them by putting them in a rotating clothes dryer until they become chipped and worn, and then painting them with ‘Rustall,’ a product used in model railroading. This puts what appears to be a rust coating on the buckle. But this finish can be removed by using a swab and solvent.
Acetone is the most effective testing medium.
Genuine rust will not come off but the applied ‘Rustall’ will.
And as all the generic fakes have the belt catch hook the same on all their pieces, the fakers now claim that these recent fakes are the genuine RODO buckle and the genuine ones with the easily-identifiable twisted leg on the catch hook are fakes.
And because genuinely informative articles or postings bring the recent fakes into question, these are at once attacked, in self-defense, by the dealers in fakes and their co-conspirators.
That is why the Thayer article has been attacked.
Here, from German wartime records, available to the public from the Bundesarchiv in Coblenz, Germany, is a complete listing of the German RZM, and other, producers of military belt buckles.
It is interesting to note that there are offered for sale, purported RODO buckles with RZM logos stamped into them. Since Robert C. Dold, the manufacturer of RODO buckles, was not under contract with the RZM, such a buckle is obviously a fake.
RZM-M4 Belt Buckles
Since the first RZM production licenses were issued on March 9, 1935, no buckles released prior to that time would bear the RZM M4/ code. This would account for the number of SA, German Youth and Hitler Youth buckles without RZM marks.
RZM Number Manufacturer City
1 M4/1 Ferdinand Hofstatter Bonn a.R.
M4/1 through M4/47 contract code numbers were issued between March 9, 1935 and December 31, 1935
2 M4/2 Martin Winter Munchen
3 M4/3 Kallenbach, Mayer & Franke Luckenwalde
4 M4/4 Gustav Emil Ficker Beierfeld
5 M4/5 Leistner & Cie. Leipzig
6 M4/6 C. u. W. Meinel-Scholar Klingenthal
7 M4/7 Hermann Sprenger Iserlohn
8 M4/8 Rudolf Wachtler & Lange Mittweida
9 M4/9 Albert Winges Trusen (Thuringen)
10 M4/10 Bernhard Haarmann Ludenscheid
11 M4/11 August Enders AG Ludenscheid
12 M4/12 Mathias Kutsch Attendorn (MK)
13 M4/13 Paul Schuhmacher Ludenscheid
14 M4/14 Otto Fechler Bernsbach
15 M4/15 Paul Meybauer Berlin SW68
16 M4/16 Robert Tummler Döbeln
17 M4/17 Ernst Meissner Holenlimburg
18 M4/18 Julius Bauer Söhne Zella-Mehlis
19 M4/19 Ernst Schneider Ludenscheid (ESL)
20 M4/20 Hillenbrand & Bröer Ludenscheid
21 M4/21 Hans Schönfelder Mitweide
22 M4/22 Christian Theodor Dicke Ludenscheid (CTD; CTH)
23 M4/23 Dr. Franke & Cie KG Ludenscheid
24 M4/24 Friedrich Linden Ludenscheid (FLL)
25 M4/25 Noelle & Heuck KG Ludenscheid (N&H)
26 M4/26 Offenberg-Engels Iserlohn
27 M4/27 Overhoff & Cie Ludenscheid (O &C; OCL)
28 M4/28 Paulmann & Crone Ludenscheid (PC)
29 M4/29 K. Fr. Brahm Furth
30 M4/30 Berg & Nolte AG Ludenscheid (B&N L)
31 M4/31 Max Haufe Grossröhrsdorf
32 M4/32 Gerbruder Hahne Ludenscheid
33 M4/33 J.D. von Hagen GmbH Iserlohn
34 M4/34 Heinrich Nordwall Dransfeld & Co Menden
35 M4/35 Moeller & Schröder Offenbach a.M.
36 M4/36 Ludenscheid Knopffabrik von Hofe & Co GmbH Ludenscheid 37 M4/37 Stefan Merkl Nurnberg
38 M4/38 Richard Sieper & Söhne Ludenscheid (R.S&S.)
39 M4/39 F. W. Assmann & Söhne Ludenscheid (A;A&S)
40 M4/40 Giesse & Schmidt Ruhla (Thuringen)
41 M4/41 Schmal & Schultz Wuppertal-Barmen
42 M4/42 Hermann Aurich Dresden A16 (H.A.)
43 M4/43 H.A. Erbe Schmalkalden
44 M4/44 Paul Cramer & Cie Ludenscheid
45 M4/45 Cramer & Dornbach Ludenscheid
46 M4/46 Wilhelm Schroder & Cie Ludenscheid
47 M4/47 Ebberg & Co Ludenscheid
48 M4/48 P.C. Turck Wwe Ludenscheid
M4/48 through M4/64 contract code numbers were issued between January 1, 1936 and December 1936
49 M4/49 Steinhauer & Luck Ludenscheid
50 M4/50 Willy Thuy Ludenscheid
51 M4/51 Horner & Dittermann Wuppertal-Barmen
52 M4/52 Linden und Funke GmbH Iserlohn
53 M4/53 Zieh-Press-u. Stanzwerk Zwintschona bei Halle
54 M4/54 Willy Annetsberger Munchen
55 M4/55 Julius Kremp Ludenscheid
56 M4/56 Friedrich Keller Oberstein a.d. Nahe
57 M4/57 Julius Maurer Oberstein a.d. Nahe
58 M4/58 Wilhelm Deus Solingen
59 M4/59 Adolf Baumeister Ludenscheid (Ad.B.L.)
60 M4/60 Gustav Brehmer Markneukirchen (GB)
61 M4/61 Julius Dinnebier Nachf. Ludenscheid
62 M4/62 Arld Heinrich Nurnberg Ost
63 M4/63 Werner Redo Saarlautern
64 M4/64 Otto Geiger Ludenscheid
65 M4/65 Georg Bonitz Schwarzenberg
M4/65 through M4/79 contract code numbers were issued between January 1, 1937 and December 31, 1937
66 M4/66 Stimming u. Venzlaff Altenburg
67 M4/67 Emil Juttner Ludenscheid
68 M4/68 Norddeutsches Nickel u. Silberwaren GmbH Hamburg 39
69 M4/69 Meyer & Wilhelm Stuttgart
70 M4/70 Kugel & Fink Ludenscheid
71 M4/71 Lehmann & Wundenberg Hannover
72 M4/72 Wilhelm Deumer Ludenscheid
73 M4/73 Lohmann & Welschehold Meinerzhagen
74 M4/74 Wilhelm Geiger GmbH Ludenscheid
75 M4/75 Walter Demmer Ludenscheid
76 M4/76 Petz & Koch Unterreichenenbach
77 M4/77 Gebruder Gloerfeld Ludenscheid
78 M4/78 F. K. Volgelsang & Cie Ludenscheid
79 M4/79 Hillenbrand & Broer Ludenscheid
80 M4/80 Lind & Meyer Oberstein a.d. Nahe
81 M4/81 Inhaber Frau Johanna Kaukal Wien
M4/81 through M4/106 were contract code numbers issued manufacturing firms located in the newly acquired Austrian territory. The numbers, to include M4/80, were issued January 1, 1938 and December 1938
82 M4/82 List & Hertl Wien
83 M4/83 (Unknown) (Unknown)
84 M4/84 Grossman & Co Mahrisch-Trubau
85 M4/85 Fr. Bibus & Sohn Mahrisch-Trubau
86 M4/86 Heubach & Co Oberstein
87 M4/87 Matth. Salcher & Sohne AG Wagstadt (Sudetenland)
88 M4/88 Augustin Hieke Tyussa bei Bodenbach
89 M4/89 Reichelmann & Co Tellnitz bei Aussig
90 M4/90 Ad. Grohmann & Sohn Wurbenthal (Sudetenland)
91 M4/91 (Unknown) (Unknown)
92 M4/92 Heinrich Ulbrichts Witwe Wien XIII
93 M4/93 Lenkwerk Bruder Schneider AG Wien VI
94 M4/93 J. Hammer & Sohne Geringswalde (after Jan ’39)
95 M4/94 Raimond Moser Wien VII
96 M4/95 Frankz Weinrank Wien VI
97 M4/96 Hans Pacher Wien XVIII
98 M4/97 Friedrich Ort Wien VI
99 M4/98 Frankz Petzl Wien VI
100 M4/99 Franke & Sohn Heidenreichstein
101 M4/100 Rudolf Meschiga Wien VIII
102 M4/101 Dominik Schonbaumsfeld’s Sohn Wien I
103 M4/102 William Prym Wien III
104 M4/103 Rudolf Schanes Wien XIII
105 M4/104 Phil. Turks Wwe. Wien XVI/2
106 M4/105 Argentor Werke Wien VII
107 M4/106 Maria Schenkl Wien XVI
108 M4/107 Franke & Feif Stuttgart
M4/107 through M4/121 contract code numbers were issued between 1939 and 1944
109 M4/108 Adalb. Kanngeisser Wien
110 M4/109 Rud. und Karl Kraus Solingen
111 M4/110 Josef Feix Sohne Gablonz (JFS)
112 M4/111 (Unknown) (Unknown)
113 M4/112 (Unknown) (Unknown)
114 M4/113 (Unknown) (Unknown)
115 M4/114 Otto Honsel Werdohl
116 M4/115 Klein & Quenzer AG Oberstein
117 M4/116 Camill Bergmann & Co Gablonz (Sudetenland)
118 M4/117 W. Aurich Leipe
119 M4/118 Werner Redo Saarlautern (reissue)
120 M4/119 Eugen Schmiedhausler Pforzheim
121 M4/120 Karl Hensler Metallwarenfabrik Pforzheim
122 M4/121 (Unknown) (Unknown)
The following manufacturers produced belt buckles, but were not licensed by the RZM
1 Gebruder Baumgartner
2 Berkemeyer & Cie
3 Berlin SW 15
4 J. Deutschbein
5 Robert C. Dold (RODO)
10 Gottlieb & Sohne
11 ARG GmbH
13 Hermann Koller
15 Bad Kudowa I. Sch.
18 Josef Mold
19 Mulheim/Ruhr (B&C)
21 Oberstein (L.G.S.)
23 Pforzheim (HK)
24 L. Regensburg
25 Schmolle & Co.
26 Springer & Co.
27 H. Tietz