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Set of German Customs Service Insignia

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In 1936 the Customs Service was reorganized and given policing responsibilities including the apprehension of individuals attempting to escape from the NSDAP 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). 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 within Germany including the Customs service. As a result of this appointment new regulations were instituted, on June 25th 1936, to bring about uniformity in dress and included new insignia for the Customs personnel. 2 x (Schirmmütze Acanthuslaubkranz) washed, stamped aluminum construction, acanthus leaf wreath with an opened center intended for a national cockade. The wreath features nice detailing with embossed, polished, leaf "veins" and rosettes and a subtly textured background field to the leaves. The reverse of the wreath is a mirror image of the obverse . The wreath encompasses a separate, three piece cockade. A vertically oval, die struck, alloy construction sleeve shield (Ärmelschild) with a silver wash. The shield features an embossed, political style national eagle with out-stretched wings clutching a wreathed, canted, swastika in it’s talons and embossed Gothic script, "Reichszollverwaltung" (National Customs Administration), all on a subtly pebbled background field. The bottom edge of the shield has a small, embossed, smooth field, plate with a stamped serial number, "13704". The shield also has dual, raised, outer border lines and two holes to both sides and the top and bottom edges intended to attach it to a sleeve.