07-31-2010, 07:54 PM
Absolutely FB. I understand what you're saying and it just solidifies my, let's say puzzlement rather than suspicion that so many examples of Luftwaffe General's caps that exist in collections today are all Kleiderkasse outlet garments. It doesn't fit with my interpretation of that period in Germany or even nowadays in London. A well paid banker, even in this climate would still go to Saville Row and not Tesco.
As a side note, I was recently in touch with a very old manufacturer and supplier of uniform cloth to the British Army. They supply different grades and weaves obviously but even the cheapest melton cloth is about £40 a square metre. The highest graded "Officer" uniform cloth is nearly 3 times the price.
07-31-2010 07:54 PM
07-31-2010, 07:58 PM
By the way. Is this the complete articule? Seems rather cheap.
07-31-2010, 07:59 PM
Prussian thrift has become the German national enthusiasm for discount stores. Little changes in life, actually, despite appearances to the contrary. I used to get my suits tailored in an earlier, more innocent age, but it is too costly now and the infrastructure for same is now far less pleasing. But I also think that the Verkaufsabteilung caps verged on the bespoke for generals. Most of the cost must have been in the cap badges for the Lw caps, which is one more reason for celleon and also the phase out of the hand embroidered cuff titles in the SS.
All too droll.
Best regards to you, Ben, and our delight in your presence here.
07-31-2010, 08:01 PM
The thing is a CD, in fact. It is worth many, many times that price for the serious collector. This outfit is my home away from home in Berlin. I am going to get a job there when I retire. They especially have a fabulous used book section of great merit. I warmly recommend these people and it is also in a nice part of Berlin, where I am going quite soon.
07-31-2010, 08:10 PM
Thank you, I was worried that the CD was not complete hence the price. Some other "vendors" are charging 290 euros for the same!
Just to prove that the crafts are still alive and well, this is a fabulous company not far from where I work. I have visited them on many occasions and it's always a joy.
Military badges-RAF[Airforce], Army, Navy badges from Hand & Lock.
07-31-2010, 08:19 PM
I suspect that the term 'clothing counter' might be giving rather the wrong impression. You can see from this picture that it was far from a Tesco. My reading of various documents dealing with the SS-Kleiderkasse, (I know little of Luftwaffe rules and regs), would indicate that the main purpose of the kleiderkasse was not to provide cheaper versions of uniform items but to prevent officers from incurring large debts as the result of equipping themselves with the required uniform.
Anyway, I hope the photo gives a sense of the style and atmosphere of the time.
07-31-2010, 08:27 PM
Thanks for the nice picture. There are many similar images in Uniformenmarkt of retail locales in their finery. I also imagine more than one of these retail outlets (cf Bamberger und Hertz above) was the beneficiary of "Aryanization" and the disenfranchisement of previous owners as part of the regime's doctrine. Granted the prevalence of such state sponsored theft especially in the government district in Berlin Mitte, I would not be surprised at all if the foregoing applied in this case, since the Luftwaffe Verkaufsabteilung moved to new quarters as its Vossstrasse locale was torn down for the Neue Reichskanzlei.
Clothing today has been globalized beyond the crafts, artisinal and estate based means of its creation. Hennes & Mauritz it was surely not, and not Tesco, either. Yet Peek & Cloppenburg made uniforms in the era, and makes nice clothes today. But it is not Holters or even Knieze & Co in Wien, which was aryanized, in fact.....
Details on the clothing economy of the Luftwaffe are in: Westarpscher Taschenkalender fuer die Luftwaffe, 1939-40, see pp. 1197ff. Those for the army are in Fricks.
Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 07-31-2010 at 11:41 PM.
07-31-2010, 08:50 PM
07-31-2010, 09:39 PM
The Bundeswehr generals of today get their caps at the Kleiderkasse. These are well paid men, to be sure.
If the number of surviving caps are from the Verkaufsabteilung, then this fact speaks volumes. The price difference between a tailor made cap and one from the Kleiderkasse in the case of the SS was about 100%, but it was not a very large sum of money despite what Wilkins thinks in his book.
German society was more egalitarian than our own time, especially in the UK or the US of the last twenty years. Germany society is more egalitarian today, too, actually. Tailored clothing was much more normal an aspect of life in former times, where in our own era the world of the arts, crafts, artisans and what not has been rendered a snobby commodity where such institutions were wiped out by mass marketed consumer goods in the 20th century. It is an odd reversal.
Does a Holters Luftwaffe flag officer cap exist in these collections?
Or one devoid of marks, which was also likely tailor made.
I had a cap made for me in Vienna when I was a student in 1973 and it must have cost all of 15 or 20 dollars at the time, which was an adequate sum of money.
The collector legends and myths propagated by dealers and internet savants seeks rarity and exclusiveness where it never existed in the past. Ben knows that I am a mortal enemy of this artifice. My German friends who lived through the III. Reich and wore these uniforms called them "Klamotten."
Such is not a term of esteem.
07-31-2010, 10:03 PM
I can say without doubt that is the most informative thread that there has ever been regarding this subject.
The difficulty is taking the information here and applying it to the rigmarole of actualy judging, authenticating and buying caps for one's own collection. It can be a bit overwhelming trying to grasp the whole huge picture and we've only just scratched the surface. Anyway, it wasn't my intention to sidetrack the thread into that terrority so thanks for your patience.