This is the file Patrick sent me. I've included all of the file as I wanted everyone to read what he provided. Much thanks to Patrick for all he has done to gather this info. A quick reading will show much more work is required to bring this subject to conclusion. Many questions still remain to be answered. I'll digest this info and see where it leads.
THANKS AGAIN PATRICK.
Meeting with Herr Witt, Technical Manager, of Hermann Romler - Kunststofftechnik, 15345
Rehfelde, Brandenburg, Germany.
The first Herr Rommler founded the company in Spremberg. Production was based on his original patents (1889) for moulding phenol resin using heat and pressure.
The company expanded but experienced difficulties during the depression (1920) and was taken over by the Sprela Company.
Hermann Rommler then started a new company, together with a dormant partner (Schuiz) in Rehfelde (near Berlinwith further production facilities in Spremberg, Lausitz. The new company
adopted the trademark HRS (Hen-mann Rommler & Schuiz), concentrating on Bakelite moulding.
To complicate matters further, there is a large West German plastics company, also named Rommler which has no connection. This company is internationally known for producing Melanin table-top surfaces.
Herr Rommler met the American (Mr. Baker?) who invented the Bakelite substance and they agreed that they had both been working on the same problems at the same time.
Hermann Rommler made pistol and bayonet grips during WWII. The Russians took all the machinery and the factory in Spremberg was destroyed. His production facilities in Rehfelde were taken over by the East German state as a socialist enterprise.
After German re-unification, Herr Rommler successfully applied to have his company returned. Personnel told me today that they also made parts for the East German government (army and
police) during the communist era.
Herr Witt started as a form (mould) maker, and is now in charge of production. He has never heard of a "Ritzmann Company".
The Production Process Phenol, heated to 170 - 180° C is liquid. It is poured into the form. The product is then ejected, the ejectors leaving the flat, round marks on the rear of the grips. The round "screw holes" are NOT threaded. The form (mould) is made with jagged edged extensions that serve to hold the grip down while the top form is lifted off. When the grip is ejected from the form, the jagged edges of the "screw hole" normally break. It is merely a
coincidence that the grip screws fit, as if the holes were threaded.
Herr Witt showed me a collection of early production Bakelite articles and I was impressed by their quality. The weight of the material and the keen edges of these products (a presentation
plate, ash tray etc) put them in a class of their own and I can well believe that Bakelite Luger grips could be as attractive as wood.
The Materialprufungsamt Dahlem (See copy of the Leitfaden Technische Vereinigung, Frankfurt am Main)
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Although Hen- Witt was unwilling to make any definitive pronouncement without being able to view an original grip, this was the only picture (see above) that he was prepared to state as being genuine.
Most of the other pictures are probably of "foreign made" products. He maintains that the surface quality of the grip would enable him to judge on this point. I showed him a cheap, black plastic grip and he immediately said that it was Russian. The sawdust was mixed in with the resin; the surface was chequered and rough.
The left hand stamp in the picture is still in use (see page Techn. Vereinigung). It was first used by the Materialprufungsamt Dahlem (Berlin). This was an administrative auditing bureau. Production companies paid dues to have their products audited (Hermann Rommler still uses their auditing facilities, together with this stamp as proof of quality control).
The Technische Vereinigung (technical Association) took over from the Materialprufungsamt Dahlem after WWII.
The small dot within the D on their present control stamp shows that the stamp is post WWII. So WWII production must have the stamp without the dot.
A closer inspection of the M;D stamp (on the left) would show that two small digits are integrated above and below the M. These are specific to the type of resin (material) and to the manufacturer. The material code number should be identical to one on the list you sent me.
The manufacturer's trade mark is on the right (HRS). The 8964 mark in the centre is "of no consequence". It can only be an item number -either determined by the manufacturer or by the customer.
Herr Witt stated that Herr Rommler could only have meant that he was the only manufacturer of grips with his company code marks on them (within the MD and with his trade mark). But there were most likely further factories making these grips. The number of manufacturers would have been limited by the great expense of making the forms.
Herr Witt was adamant that EVERY manufacturer would have had to use the MD proof mark with his own specific manufacturer's code as well as the material code within the MD mark. The use of a trade mark stamp was a matter of choice.
Grips without the MD stamp MUST be considered as "foreign" - NOT AUTHENTIC, and certainly could not have been manufactured for purchase by the German State.
He advised that this could easily be confirmed by the present Technische Vereinigung in Frankfurt/Main.
Neither the material used, nor the jagged edged holes, or any other criteria could provide positive proof of authenticity as exactly identical material is still in use.
A phone call to the Technische Vereinigung could very likely provide a list of manufacturers and material codes. Or maybe someone is a bit nearer to Frankfurt/Main and could visit their office.
The Technische Vereinigung would also have to verify Herr Witt's statement that the MD stamp is the definitive proof of authenticity for all WWII German manufactured resin grips.