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 conditions were issued the standard winter cap.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Field-grey wool construction cap with dark green piping. Single button, fold down, front and sides. 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 neatly hand stitched in place. The interior of the cap is fully lined in quilted, ribbed, grey cotton twill with an internal padding. One tiny hole to the underside of the visor. Nicely maker marked and dated for 1942. Size marked 57. Complete original leather sweatband.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $699.00

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