Karl Maria Wiligut and symbolism of the Totenkopfring
Karl Maria Wiligut was the designer of the Totenkopf ring. The Wiligut family were supposed to be Teutonic priests of Irminsul. He had put all оf his knowledge of Aryan and Norse/Germanic symbols in the ring. The SS honour ring is designed as a true proof of the courage and loyalty of its wearer. Even the material from which it is made - silver is considered to be the sacred metal of the Teutonic gods. The ring bears a skull with crossed bones, crossing behind the skull. The Totenkopf was the traditional symbol of the SS. This is a very ancient pagan symbol of immortality, rebirth, and fearlessness in the face of death. The ancient Kimmerians and Teutones had taken the heads of their slain enemies and with them the enemy's strength. Later this tradition was adopted by the Celts, Germans, and Bulgarians. The death's head in Christianity was adopted as a symbol of rebirth and redemption called the Skull of Adam.
This unique ring from the historical period of World War Two - German SS-Ehrenring (SS Honour Ring) is an exact handcrafted Sterling Silver replica of the rings of the best fighters that took part in WWII - The legendary Waffen SS. The ring was awarded by Heinrich Himmler to the Schutzstaffel (SS).
"TOTENKOPF" OR "DEATH'S HEAD RING"
The rings were not a state decoration but personal gifts. At first, it was a symbol of the high ranking officers of the Old Guard (of which there were 4873). They had shown exceptional courage and prowess in battle, and the officers had a clean disciplinary record. Even for minor infractions, the ring bearers were obliged to return their ring. It was available to any officer with 3 years service in the SS. During World War II virtually the entire SS leadership, including the Waffen-SS and Gestapo, had a ring. The unofficial name of the ring is "Totenkopf" or "death's head ring".
Heinrich Himmler wrote about the meaning of the skull in a letter that accompanied each ring.
At NSVendor you can find unique sets that include Heinrich Himmler's letter and Totenkopf ring. In the sets, you can also find other World War II awards, framed portraits of WWII celebrities, books, and more.
Totenkopf was used as a German military insignia for a long period of time. It was used by Hussar cavalry in the Prussian army commanded by Colonel von Ruesch formed by Frederick the Great, also by the Black Brunswickers (Schwarze Legion) in the Napoleonic Wars, the Sturmtruppen (Stormtroopers) in WW1 and Freikorps in post-WW1. Later the Stabswache Adolf Hitler's bodyguard unit adopted the Totenkopf as the unit's insignia.
Heinrich Himmler wrote about the meaning of the skull in a letter that accompanied each ring: "Der Totenkopf ist die Mahnung, jederzeit bereit zu sein, das Leben unseres Ichs einzusetzen für das Leben der Gesamtheit." ("The skull is the reminder to be prepared at any time to risk the life of ourselves for the life of the whole "..").