BACKGROUND: The German Customs Service can be traced back to 1834 when a Customs Union was formed to allow the separate German States to trade amongst themselves without trade and tariff taxes, while still imposing import trade taxes on other European nations. With the unification of the German States into a single nation in 1871 the Customs Service became a national paramilitary organization, under control of the Finance Ministry in Berlin. The national Customs Service was still responsible for imposing and collecting import trade taxes but was also tasked with border defence duties. On June 17TH 1936, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was appointed to the newly created position of Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern, (Chief of the German Police in the National Ministry of the Interior), effectively giving him full control of all police agencies, including the Zollbeamte, (Customs Officials), within Germany. As a result of this appointment the Customs Service was reorganized and given further policing responsibilities including the apprehension of individuals attempting to escape from the NSDAP’s yoke. The German Customs service was divided into two separate branches with one branch consisting of the Landzollbeamte, (Land Customs Officials), which was subdivided into the Zollgrenzschutz, (Land Customs Border Guards), and the Wasserzollbeamte, (Water Customs Officials), and the second branch consisting of the remaining Zollbeamte, (Customs Officials). As with other organizations Custom’s personnel serving in colder climates were issued the standard winter fur cap.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Field-grey wool construction cap with slightly mottled brown rabbit fur front, fold down side ear lugs and back panels. The side ear lugs and back panel of the cap are held in the upright position by dual green HBT, (Herring Bone Twill), rayon tie tapes. The tie tapes were also utilized for a secure closure when the side and back panels were worn in the lowered position to protect the nape of the neck and chin. The reverse of the fold down side ear lugs and back panel are lined in ribbed grey cotton twill. The central front fur panel can be folded downward to act as a visor if required. The front of the cap has the distinctive, machine woven customs eagle with up-swept wing tips, in silver/aluminum flat-wire threads and a national tri-color cockade mounted on a cut-out green rayon "T" shaped base. The insignia is machine stitched in place. The interior of the cap is fully lined in quilted, ribbed, grey cotton twill with an internal padding. Roughly a size 56. Nice cap.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $595.00 (Or Best Offer)

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