Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Artifact of the Week - Nazi ceremonial dagger

This week's artifact of the week is a Kriegsmarine officer's dagger from World War II. It was donated by Marsha Tanasichuk and is from her father Stanley Lawrence's estate.

This ceremonial officer's dagger, circa 1940-44 is a war trophy, brought back to Canada after the war. It features an eagle and a swastika on the pommel and is accompanied by its original scabbard.

War trophies have been claimed by soldiers for thousands of years, either to ensure weapons remain out of enemy hands or to commemorate battles fought. Small objects like daggers, guns, flags or helmets as well as large items like machine guns and canons have all been taken by soldiers as war trophies in the past. More extreme examples of war trophies include cultural memorabilia and body parts of defeated enemies.

Stanley Lawrence served in the Canadian Forestry Corps of the Canadian Army during the Second World War. This corps cut and prepared lumber in Canada's abundant forests, until space needed on cargo ships to transport the lumber overseas for the Allied war effort became sparse. From then on, the Canadian Forestry Corps cut and prepared the necessary lumber for barracks, roads surfaces, ammunition crates and trench construction while stationed overseas in the United Kingdom and Europe.

This dagger is currently on exhibit in the Peace River Gallery but it will be coming down soon to make way for an exhibit about the beginning of World War I. The Museum will be featuring a number of small exhibits this year, detailing the centenaries of four big events that all happened in 1914. These events include the beginning of World War I, Peace River Crossing becoming a village, the beginning of the Peace River Fire Department and the beginning of the Record-Gazette newspaper.

Come by the Museum to see all of these great exhibits.
PRMA 2008.050.032 A-B

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