SEE BELOW FOR DESCRIPTION

S018878 HESSEN FREISTAG FEUERWEHR/FEUERSCHUTZPOLIZEI OFFICER'S BELT BUCKLE. (Koppelschloß für Offizier)

BACKGROUND: During the Weimar era, (Circa 1919-1933), Germany had independent, local Feuerwehr, (Fire Defence), departments located through-out the country. As with most countries, the German fire departments generally consisted of paid personnel in the cities and larger towns and volunteer personnel in smaller towns and villages. The paid fire department personnel were generally financed by the local political municipal councils. Being independent the fire departments had no uniform standards and uniforms and equipment varied depending on the budget allocated by the local councils. In 1930 the fire departments began to utilize box style belt buckles and although the buckles weren’t standardized they generally featured the traditional fire style helmets and assorted fire equipment including axes, ladders, ropes, etc. In 1934 at an attempt at some sort of standardization new fire department belt buckles were introduced that incorporated the city or state coat-of-arms, although the earlier, Weimar era buckles continued to be used well into the Third Reich era. The 1934 pattern buckles all had a black anodized finish and featured a box buckle for "enlisted" personnel and a round buckle for "Officers". Of Note: On June 17TH 1936, Reichsführer-SS, (National Leader of the 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 within Germany including the independent Berufsfeuerwehren and Feuerwehr, (Professional Fire Departments/ Volunteer Fire Services). In late 1938 the Berufsfeuerwehren and Feuerwehr were re-designated, Feuerlöschpolizei, (Fire Fighting Police), bringing them in to the realm of police services and regulations of May 3RD 1939 detached the individual Feuerlöschpolizei to establish the cadre of the newly forming, FschP. Feuerschutzpolizei, (Fire Protection Police), also under Himmler’s control. Through-out these changes in structure the assorted fire department personnel utilized both the early Weimar style and the later (1934), city or state coat-of-arms style belt buckles.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: A roughly 48 mm diameter, die struck alloy construction, circular belt buckle with silver wash features an embossed, laurel leaf wreath encompassing an embossed, circular centerpiece with the embossed coat-of-arms consisting shield shaped base. The reverse of the buckle is a mirror image of the obverse and has a heavy, soldered, buckle catch and a soldered, closed, prong bar attachment loop intact. Unmarked.    (Ex Philippe Gillain Collection)

GRADE ****                                                         PRICE $238.00 (Or Best Offer)

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