The SS Chain Dagger of Ernst Georg Altner


Ernst Georg Altner was born in Waldheim Germany, on December 4, 1901. His paramilitary career within the 3rd Reich began at the age 25, when Altner joined the SA in January of 1925. At this time he was assigned to the 26th SA Sturm, holding the rank of SA-Truppfuhrer, the equivalent to what would be a senior sergeant. Moving up the ranks, Altner had attained the commissioned officer's rank of Sturmfuhrer by 1929. Applying for membership in the SS in May of that year, Altner became a probationary prospect within the Schutzstaffel. This was the very same year in which Heinrich Himmler became it's commander.


Assigned to the 21 Sturm, Altner remained with this outfit for the next 24 months. Two years later by 1931, Georg Altner was working his way back up through the ranks again as he did is the SA, but now an NCO in the SS.  By the end of 1932, Altner held the SS rank of Standartenfuhrer, quite an accomplishment considering the short amount of time that he had actually been in the SS. He had now not only become a full time SS leader under the Reichfuhrer Himmler, but also well on his way to being promoted to a General's ranking.


Holding several SS assignments, judicial, and police titles over the next 6 years, Georg Altner also accepted a Lt. rank in reserve unit of the Wehrmacht. In 1940, Altner found himself pressed into battle for France, as the commander of a Germany Army reserve Pioneer unit. On June 15 1940 he was severely wounded in battle.


Topping out his advancements, Altner was promoted to SS-Brigadefuhrer in March of 1942. He held this General's rank and title as the Chief of Criminal Investigations (KRIPO), and commander in charge of the city of Dortumund Germany. Ernst Georg Altner's body was found with a bullet to the head, in a park outside of the city on April 12, 1945.


Listed below are dates of promotions and ranks held by Georg Altner:


SA-Truppfuhrer 1925

SA-Sturmfuhrer 1929

SS-Anwarter 10.05.1929

SS-Truppfuhrer 30.04.1931

SS-Untersturmfuhrer 01.07.1931

SS-Sturmbannfuhrer 27.11.1931

SS-Standartenfuhrer 24.12.1932

SS-Oberfuhrer 09.11.1933

Gerfreiter der Reserve 1935

Feldwebel der Reserve 1936

Leutnant der Reserve 1937

Oberleutnant der Reserve ?

SS-Brigadefuhrer & Major General of the Police 18.03.1942




Below are a list of the awards earned by Altner, throughout his career as a member of both the SA & the SS, 1925-1945


Stahlhelm Service 1922-1925

Golden Party Badge #34339

SA DRL Sports Badge in Bronze

SA DRL Sport Badge in Silver

Equestrian Rider Badge in Bronze

Equestrian Rider Badge in Silver

War Merit 2nd Class with Swords 3.8.42

War Merit 1st Class with Swords 29.1.43

1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class 1940

Black Wound Badge 1940

Ehrenwinkel der Alten Kampfer

SS Totenkopf Ring

SS Zivilabzeichen #1117

SS Julleuchter 16.12.35

SS Honor Sword 1936

SS Honor Dagger

NSDAP # 34339

SS Party # 1421

Elected Member of the Reichstag 1933-45


In November 2012, 3rd Reich militaria collector and historian Chris Voorhees directly veteran sourced this M36 SS chain dagger from the family, and for the first time brought it to the attention of the collecting community. The historical importance of this edged weapon goes without saying. After all it was the personal property of a known figure and ranking officer within the hierarchy of the infamous an notorious 3rd Reich Shutzstaffel. And beyond that, it's owner had a career within the SA and the SS which had span 20 years from the beginning of the NSDAP's infancy, rising all the way up to the rank of an SS General !


The edged weapon itself displays characteristics which we see with SS chain daggers produced in the initial production time frame, during the fall of 1936. Among those are the unique lettering to the Meine Ehre heist Treue  blade motto, and the Type A septum skull links in the chain assembly. The dagger is SS numbered to Altner on both the underside of the lower crossguard, and on the lip of the scabbard.



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