Brass "Magen David" origins


#1

A little 6 pointed star signifies brass (I think). It resembles greatly Magen David (Star of David) which I think has been used since 12th century as a symbol of Jews and presently the State of Israel. Why was it chosen and why did Germans use it, even during the war?


#2

A star as you describe signifies a brass case on 9mm para military ammo from Germany, and some other countries after the war that copied their style headstamp (Bulgaria on 7.9, Czecholslovakia, etc.). On 7.9 x 57 German ammo “S” signifies brass and S* signifies an improved alloy of 72% copper as opposed to the older alloy of 67% copper (nominal percentages with some variance allowed). There is one case of a P25 code 9mm having the “S” instead of the star.

That said, the star is a common figure used on headstamps, sometimes meaning nothing - simply decorative. It is, in fact, one of the most common geometric designs found on cartridges (other than letters and numbers). Why did the Germans use it - because they simply decided to. Guess someone thought it was as good a symbol as any to use. Why did they use a dash to signify a single flash hole case? I doubt there is any super technical reason for the selection of that figure to represent a brass case. Could be wrong, of course. The Star on German rounds, by the way, while normally six-point, isn’t always. I have seen five-point stars used with the brass-designation, as well.

The Star, aside from its use on cartridges, is used on lots of things for design purposes. For example, in San Francisco, my city of birth, the police badge for San Francisco Sworn, Peace Officer-status police is a 7-point star, while that for Reserves and what they called “Special Police” (limited and particular authority peace officers) who are not considered “sworn officers” and are not allowed to carry firearms, was a six-pointed star. Stars are used for all sorts of things as symbols representing something, or simply decorative. I don’t think it has anything at all to do with the Star of David, which is not of itself a particularly unique form of the Star symbol.


#3

I’m sure John will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the use of the six-point star pre-dates the Nazi rise to power, and as such would simply have been continued as a standard practice.
I’m sure some “Good Nazi” pointed this anomaly out to a superior at some time, and a lengthy series of meetings ensued, wasting valuable time and resources. This, along with Stalingrad, was one of the major events in the defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII.


#4

Jon,
You are genuinely funny (I mean it). I hope to see you at Allentown, I have some good jokes.


#5

I had a bit of a chuckle as I was writing it.
Try to get to the Williamsport and Morgantown,PA cartridge shows also!


#6

[quote=“Jon C.”]I’m sure John will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the use of the six-point star pre-dates the Nazi rise to power, and as such would simply have been continued as a standard practice.
I’m sure some “Good Nazi” pointed this anomaly out to a superior at some time, and a lengthy series of meetings ensued, wasting valuable time and resources. This, along with Stalingrad, was one of the major events in the defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII.[/quote]

THAT WAS GOOD- IF I HAD SAID IT THE FFPP WOULD HAVE EDITED IT OUT TO AVOID “MISUNDERSTANDING” ! MUCH TRUTH IN THAT JEST !

Hitler said " If science requires Jews then Germany can do without science ".
How did that work out?

The STAR OF DAVID is a unique symbol made up of 2 superimposed filigree INTERTWINED triangles-points opposing which represents the relationship between God and man and the reflected realtionship between man and God. The origin is lost in history. It is also historically refered to as “Solomon’s seal”. IT HAS ALWAYS REFERED TO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL IN RECORDED LITERATURE AND SYMBOLOGY.

In ALCHEMY the triangles represent earth and fire which mix to form life.

The solid version of the perimeter of this design such as used on German and other ammunition is a variety of the ASTERISK . (with a double outline it is called -THE STAR OF CREATION-) This symbol (here is the default version on my computer - * ) has been used traditionally in literature to denote footnotes or references after the tradition of “glossing”(writing footnote type comments in the side and bottom margin) became too cumbersome as reference materials increased.

ASTERISK means star and there are many varieties of it. The ones used on German ammo range from the 6 point, to 5 point to 6 lines, 5 lines, A SIMPLE +( WHICH IS ALSO A VARIATION OF THE ASTERISK) ,-etc. - Why this code was adopted I have not yet heard.

It is interesting to note that the SS headstamped ammunition does not carry this code. I do not think that this was an oversite.


#7

I have never heard the “Solomon’s Seal” identification, but Magen David actually translates to Shield of David. It was traditionally the “National” symbol used by David and his decendants (ie:Solomon). Although it has become recognized as such, the Star really has no intrinsic religious significance.


#8

The Star of David WAS the symbol of the people of ISRAEL for which there was no NONRELIGIOUS symbol. David was made King through the offices of a religious prophet directly inspired by GOD (this is if you believe the Bible-if you do not it doesn’t really matter what you believe as all would be rhetoric to you in any case).

If you are serious about pusuing some information you might start with “Symbols,Signs and Signets” , Ernst Lehner, Dover Pubs. NY.


#9

On the Star, you are obviously more well-read than I on the religious significance of the Magen David, and I seriously mean that. My knowledge comes from over 40 years of Jewish education and a number of years living in Israel, both of which imparted more practical/Nationalistic learning than pure scholarly religious knowledge.
More to the point, the six-point star was apparently not seen by the pre-Nazi German officials to be an intrinsically Jewish religious symbol. It is rather ironic that Nazi officaldom does not seem to have taken any action to change or remove it.

John Moss, was the six-point star used used on German-made ammo throughout the Nazi period, or was it discontinued at some point?


#10

The six pointed star as used by the Germans and many others is NOT the MOGEN DAVID. It is a version of the ASTERISK. The fact that nazi GERMANY continued to use it as an ordnance mark proves that well enough.

The nazis KNEW what the Mogan David was and what it meant.

From 70 AD when the Romans destroyed classic Judaism until the founding of Israel there was no NONRELIGIOUS symbol which represented Judaism because there was NOTHING BUT A RELIGION. NO COUNTRY,NO STATE,NO STATE GOVERNMENT, NO GOVERNMENT AT ALL (UNLESS YOU BELIEVE IN THE WORLDWIDE ZIONIST CONSPIRACY GOVERNMENT-IN WHICH CASE- YOU ARE BEYOND LOGIC AND TRUTH). What did exist was a RELIGION ( a very wise and powerfull religion) and for nearly 2000 years the Star of David represented that religion to the world . THAT IS A RELIGIOUS SYMBOL. When Israel was created by the UNITED NATIONS it took the MD as a symbol of state BECAUSE it was the world recognized symbol of Judaism historically.

One can get into some real good arguments with the Hasidim about the authenticity of the “STATE” of Israel BUT it does exist as a political reality and the MD is its basic symbol. A political symbol NOW, a RELIGIOUS symbol by default for 2000 years.

One need not be Jewish to read and understand Jewish history.

The victims of nazism were not forced to wear the MD on their clothes as a tribute to any form of political entity.

If you look at the MDs worn but most of the victims of nazism they have the lines of the MD drawn on them. Also the police badges of the Judenrat officers who policed the ghettoes similarly had the typical lines of the MD on them as well, NOT JUST THE OUTLINES OF THE MD-WHY; BECAUSE THE LINES ARE IMPORTANT. They represent the intertwined relationship between God and man. Note that they are intertwined on a formal MOGEN DAVID. This is not an accident. It is symbolism.

A picture is worth a thousand words but a SYMBOL is worth thousands of pictures.

The MD is religious, mystical symbolism which like most powerful symbols has been co-opted as a political symbol BECAUSE OF ITS SPIRITUAL POWER

PEOPLE WILL AND HAVE DIED FOR THE MD IN MANY COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD , MANY CULTURES , IN MANY ERAS BECAUSE IT IS A SYMBOL OF GOD AND A RELIGION WITH A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP TO GOD.

The nazis knew that and the enemies of Israel and Jews everywhere know it as well.

The great part of antisemitism is ENVY of that special relationship which is believed by Jews, Chrisitans and ,yes ,Moslems.

Back to basics- the six pointed star on German ammo is NOT the Mogen David- ask a nazi if you can find one.


#11

Thank you.


#12

Man, that was super interesting! Allot of history.

Jason
PS: nazis suck! Especially “Illinois nazi’s”.


#13

The use of the Hexagram (Six Pointed Regular Star geometric shape, formed by the overlap of two isosceles triangles) on the headstamps of ammunition and as an indicator on the Stocks and metal work of some rifles has No religious significance or connections. The hexagram is an artistic and architectural design common to the entire Middle Eastern area, and spread by Islam ( along with its other Architectural ideas), into Spain and the rest of Southern Europe in the 800s. Islam is well known for the use of repetitive geometric designs in its internal and external Architecture and Surface decoration.

The Only “National” use of the Hexagram is on 1950s Israeli manufactured ammunition (7,9mm and .303, amongst others). By the 1970s, I think, Israeli-made ammo was simply marked in Hebrew or Roman letters, bearing the initials “TZ or TZZ” indicating “Israeli Military Industries” (HQ in tel-Aviv, factory in Nazareth). No further use of the national Symbol on SAA.

it never ceases to amaze me that otherwise knowledgeable posters on this and other boards, get carried away by the supposed Political or religious significance of the use of the Hexagram on Ammuniton or Rifles; and the confusion of the use of the Astrisk (star) on headstamps.

Just one Germanic note: In German shorthand on Tombstones and Death notices, the Star signifies Birth and the Cross signifies Death dates (Gebornen und Gestorben–sometimes “Geb” and “Ges”). Now these symbols may have some distant religious connection (" Nativity Star and the Cross of death"), but to extend these connections to other, purely technical matters smacks of the stupidest Political correctness gone totally crazy.

The same goes for any connection between the Hexagram and its use on Rifles ( 1880s-1900, German-made Mausers for export…).

As to the SS, the reason they didn’t have any “*” on the ammo which was acquired by them in the 1930s was due to the fact that the SS had to acquire its ammo by Commercial Contract, and so were prevented from using the Army’s system of headstamping. The SS was a p[arty organisation, it WAS NOT part of the Wehrmacht (The Armed Forces) and so did not benefit from the Armed Forces Chain of Supply; only after the invasion of Russia, did the SS begin to receive ammo supply from the normal Army supply system, and this was later, in 1942-43.
Known battlefields on the Eastern Front with high activity by known Waffen- SS units have turned up large quantites of Czech and Commercial German 7,9mm ammo with dates of the mid 1930s to at least 1940.

In any case, the use of * in German headstamps, was in the Indication, S*, which designated the Brass case made from a 72/28 percentage brass alloy, a stiffer case suitable for MGs, especially Aircraft MGs. The Older “S” case was a 67/33 percent alloy, and too “soft” to give reliable case metal springback when used in High Cyclic rate guns (MG34, 42, 81 etc) to facilitate efficent extraction.

The Czechs, Post-war, also used the Hexagram and the Astrisk as a headstamp indicator, as part of their secret coding in the 1947-51 period (some overlap) until they set in place the three-letter codes used until the 1989 overthyrow of Communism.

The same discussions can be made regarding the Hooked Cross ( or Swastika) as used both by the Nazis ( Nordic symbol) and by the Finns, the Buddhists (including the Chinese), the American Indians, and many other cultures, in either the Right face or Left face format, either Flat aspect or Diamond aspect.

It is a waste of time trying to make connections between purely religious or architectural symbols, and Ammunition ID.
Life is too short to be spent on endless circuitous arguments about Jews and Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims, over what is simply a geometric pattern, used generally in art and design.

If I have offended any-body of any religious persuasion out there, TOO BAD.
“Life just Ain’t fair…get used to it” ( apologies to Bill Gates of Microsoft).

Lets get back to the real reason for this Board…Cartridge ID and information.

regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#14

Some excellent points but some serious errors of fact. No doubt that the Hexagram( as you call it - the word can refer to any six sided figure) and the Mogen David are NOT the same thing and that was my point to begin with. The question from SKSVLAD was a good and important one and would naturally give pause and question to anyone with a Jewish background OR an interest in symbology.

Your point:“The Only “National” use of the Hexagram is on 1950s Israeli manufactured ammunition (7,9mm and .303, amongst others). By the 1970s, I think, Israeli-made ammo was simply marked in Hebrew or Roman letters, bearing the initials “TZ or TZZ” indicating “Israeli Military Industries” (HQ in tel-Aviv, factory in Nazareth). No further use of the national Symbol on SAA.”

You are totally mistaken here as these WERE the Mogen David.

National use ? Both the Germans and the Czechs considered themselves NATIONS when they used the symbol on their ammo.

Your point:

"it never ceases to amaze me that otherwise knowledgeable posters on this and other boards, get carried away by the supposed Political or religious significance of the use of the Hexagram on Ammuniton or Rifles; and the confusion of the use of the Astrisk (star) on headstamps. "

I see no evidence of this. SKSVLAD is a fairly new collector asking a legitimate question. The responces are , for the most part , direct and informational.

Your point : " The same discussions …etc"

Certainly nothing didactic about such comments. This is not information it is prejudice.

SYMBOLISM IS IMPORTANT. TAKE YOUR NATIONAL FLAG OUT FRONT OF YOUR HOUSE AND SET IT ON FIRE AND SEE.

Further: your quote;

“As to the SS, the reason they didn’t have any “*” on the ammo which was acquired by them in the 1930s was due to the fact that the SS had to acquire its ammo by Commercial Contract, and so were prevented from using the Army’s system of headstamping. The SS was a p[arty organisation, it WAS NOT part of the Wehrmacht (The Armed Forces) and so did not benefit from the Armed Forces Chain of Supply; only after the invasion of Russia, did the SS begin to receive ammo supply from the normal Army supply system, and this was later, in 1942-43.”

I would like to see your documents supporting this theory. Clearly opinion.

In addition various Waffen SS units came under Wehrmacht control in 1939 AND were supported by their supply as well and continued so through out the war when being fielded with Wehrmacht units. Even the “Einsatsgruppen” going about their murders drew ammo and supplies from the Wehrmacht and were a source of problems with them frequently as the traditional military commanders learned of the “special missions” of the “commandos”. The SS did have its own supply which at time supported the activities of various of the Algemine units but seldom Waffen SS units. The SS had constant weapons supply problems until Hitler gave them priority late in the war.

Consider that the SS armed unit which arrested and killed the top SA leaders drew its weapons,ammo, and transport from the Wehrmacht. I can give you good references on this if needed.

THE THEORIES RELATING TO PRODUCTION OF THE SS MARKED AMMUNITION ARE UNDOCUMENTED.

Your stated opinion is as good as another.

The 3 SS proprietary contract heastamps are still an UNDOCUMENTED matter. Any theory is a good as the next. There is not even agreement as to what the TV means. Years ago I was corrected by a major German 7.9 collector when I said that the TV meant “totenkopfverbanden” and informed that it mean the SS technical department-Now the Germans say it means “totenkopfverbanden”. So the theories turn all based upon observation and opinion but not on any factual definitions. We are getting closer to a logical theory. Given the distribution of the battlefield and camp fired case finds there is the implication that the TV headstamp was not justs for the camp guards but also for the Waffen SS TV unit as well. But,again not proof of anything.

I will explain some of these theories in my article in process which will address various of these matters in a coming issue of the “Journal”. There are a variety of “theories” but so far NO FACTS other than what can be observed by looking at the extant specimens

Your reference to the “JUDEN-FLINTE” affair in your post of 4 March remains a mystery as Google shows no such incident and collectors from Germany seem similarly unfamiliar. CAN YOU ENLIGHTEN US ALL ?

FURTHER

In your post of 11 January you mentioned a posting “last year” of 7.9 cases found in the “Northern Sector”(sic) - “Ukraine or Russia”. My various inquires about your reference remain unanswered.

Can you please provide support for your various references and theories?

Your quote:

"If I have offended any-body of any religious persuasion out there, TOO BAD.
“Life just Ain’t fair…get used to it” ( apologies to Bill Gates of Microsoft). "

Offending those of us who have religious beliefs without regard is certainly not new nor a positive reflection on you or your arguments. It is worldwide common sport. How this serves your desire to " get back to the real reason for this Board…Cartridge ID and information", is a question ,NOT to mention that it is a violation of the rules. SEE BELOW:

“Personal or snide comments, sarcasm, belligerence, condescension and the like have no place here.”