BACKGROUND: At the conclusion of WWI the victorious Allies laid the full cause and responsibility for the war on Germany, assigning them Alleinschuld, (Sole Guilt) and an Allied tribunal was established to determine what steps were to be taken to prevent Germany from any future military aggressive actions. One of the seldom looked at clauses of the Allies Treaty of Versailles limited all German policing forces to the pre-1914 level of 150,000 personnel as independent forces in separate states therefore negating a nationally controlled police force with the idea being that a large, national, police presence could be used to reinforce the armed forces. During the Weimar era, (Circa 1919-1933), the largest of the independent German police forces was the Preußen Schutzpolizei, (Prussian Protection Police), in the newly established Freistaat Preußen, (Free State/Republic of Prussia), within the Weimar Republic. The use of a stylized eagle as a national or heraldic emblem can be traced back to at least the Roman Empire and use by the Germanic states may be traced back to the age of Karl der Große", (Charlemagne, Circa 742-814). Although a stylized eagle was generally accepted as the coat-of-arms as early as 1200, it wasn’t until 1433 that the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund adopted a stylized, double headed, eagle as the official coat-of-arms. Through the years the eagle underwent a few alterations in design and in November 1919 Preußen Präsident, (Prussian President), Friedrich Ebert and the Preußeministerium des Innern, (Prussian Ministry of the Interior), Erich Koch-Weser of the newly established Freistaat Preußen announced the institution of a modified version of the Prussian eagle coat-of-arms emblem that eliminated the symbols of the earlier Germanic Monarchy and was a complete departure from the actual Weimar Republican style eagle. The announcement regarding the Prussian eagle coat-of-arms by Ebert and Koch-Weser included the phrase, "The artistic design may be varied for each special purpose", which resulted in minor variations in the eagle’s design. The new Freistaat Preußen style eagle was adopted as the emblem of the Preußen Schutzpolizei, (Prussian Protection Police), and the Preußen Kommunalpolizei, (Prussian Local/Municipal Police), and was utilized on their belt buckles. A round buckle for Officer’s ranks and a box buckle for NCO’s ranks utilizing the Freistaat Preußen eagle are believed to have been introduced in 1921and were utilized until 1936. From observed examples it seems most of the standard box belt buckles of the time ranged in size from roughly, 4.5cm-4.7cm, (roughly 1 3/4"-1 7/8"), tall, to 3.5cm-4cm, (1 3/8"-1 5/8"), tall, although there were numerous other dimensions. Of Note: There is speculation that the Preußen Schutzpolizei belt buckles were silver finished while those for Preußen Kommunalpolizei belt buckles gilt finished and it appears they were worn concurrently by both branches of Polizei. Also 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. As a result of this appointment and the restructuring of all the separate German state police into a single national police force new regulations were instituted on June 25TH 1936 to bring about uniformity in dress for all police through-out the country. One of the new uniform regulations, was the introduction of two, new styles, of belt buckles with a round buckle for Officer’s ranks and a box buckle for NCO ranks, although the earlier state buckles were worn concurrently for a short period of time.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly 50mm, officer’s version. Marked "Freistaat Preußen" with high relief, embossed, Weimar era, Prussian style, right facing, (viewer’s left), eagle with down-swept, flared wings and extended talons and tail feathers. Maker marked and dated for 1932. Removed from a belt. Scarce.

GRADE *** 3/4                             PRICE $595.00 (Or Best Offer)

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