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GERMAN PRUSSIAN FUSILIER OFFICER'S SWORD - MARKED "OSTMARK 1919"
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This is a very interesting Prussian Fusilier Officer's sword. Otherwise a standard weapon, this sword is marked twice with the phase OSTMARK 1919, on the cross-guard, and on the blade. It is also marked with the officer's initials "A. v. L."
It is evident that this Prussian Fusilier officer belonged to the German Eastern Marches Society - Deutscher Ostmarkenverein, also known as Verein zur Förderung des Deutschtums in den Ostmarken. Deutscher Ostmarkenverein was a German radical, extremely nationalist xenophobic organization founded in 1894. Mainly among Poles, it was sometimes known acronymically as Hakata or H-K-T after its founders von Hansemann, Kennemann and von Tiedemann. Its main aims were the promotion of Germanization of Poles living in Prussia and destruction of Polish national identity in German eastern provinces. Contrary to many similar nationalist organizations created in that period, the Ostmarkenverein had relatively close ties with the government and local administration, which made it largely successful, even though it opposed both the policy of seeking some modo vivendi with the Poles pursued by Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg and Leo von Caprivi's policies of relaxation of anti-Polish measures. While of limited significance and often overrated, the organization formed a notable part of German anti-democratic pluralist part of the political landscape of the Wilhelmine era.

Initially formed in Posen, in 1896 its main headquarters was moved to Berlin. In 1901 it had roughly 21,000 members, the number rose to 48,000 in 1913, though some authors claim the membership was as high as 220,000. After Poland was re-established following World War I in 1918, the society continued its rump activities in the Weimar Republic until it was closed down by the Nazis in 1934 who created the new organisation with similar activity Bund Deutscher Osten.

Further information is available at Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Eastern_Marches_Society

The sword is in very good overall condition. The hilt is a bit loose, but can easily be tightened. I'll leave this to the buyer. Blade is 71 cm-long, with some light rubbing from taking the sword out of the scabbard, and putting it back in. Blade point is a little blunted. Blued scabbard retains most of its finish, with some light scattered pinpoint pitting. Scabbard drag is marked with a Roman numeral I or capital letter L. An interesting and unusual Prussian Fusilier sword that most probably belonged to to a member of an old Prussian minor nobility.



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