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another one

Article about: original SS cap skulls are more anatomically correct than the reproductions and as such are more sinister................. I wouldn't like to meet him on a dark night. peer into the eye sock

  1. #21

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    I have spent a lot of time in my life with people who lived through this period, and they always thought that my interest in these details was total insanity. They led simpler and in many ways richer lives, even in the struggle of naked survival in wartime. I wonder if there are more than five people alive in Germany today who made these items and even know what all these markings meant, even if they were contemporaries.

    We seize on some tangible relic and symbol of the past, however meaningless, and assign it holy status.

    Kerfluffle is a good word.

    damit, basta.

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  3. #22

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    I wish that I had more to offer this discussion, but, as has been the case often lately, my colleagues have beaten me to the punch. Having arrived late to the party, at this point, I can simply offer my agreement with what has already been said by Anders, Ben, and others. I believe that Anders is correct that this manufacturer made only skulls in zinc and aluminum (which this one is). Unfortunately, I have no insight into who the maker is. Some have speculated that it is Overhoff, but this is simply based on similarities in construction. I find F-B's suggestions of possible alternative candidates to be of very sound logic, as always.

    Well done, gentlemen.


  4. #23

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    Thank you. The Clyde Davis book is a favorite of mine. There is a second volume I do not own, and I bought mine in 1976. I am told he was to marshal all his knowledge for a Bender book of some kind.

    I also see that you can buy a microform of the Handbuch d. RZM.

    With the online finding aid of the personal staff of the RFSS files that include regalia, I am sure a careful analysis of the places of origin of documents dealing with some of these issues (i.e. the fact that the so called 1936 skull was designed, approved, pp. in the fall of 1935) one could eventually figure out some of the details that concern us.

    I know in theory how to find the records if they still exist in German or other archives, since there are hot spots of archives with a lot of material germane to uniforms, equipment and contracting.

    The Pforzheim piece is pretty straight forward, as is Luedenscheid. These two places had a tradition for regalia and fine quality engraving of metal and engineering not unlike Solingen for edged weapons.

    The other thing for the true fanatic collector scholar would be to find local archives in these locales, as well. I am sure they exist.

    However, no one is going to make a matter of corporate public relations that they made cap badges for the SS. The Hug Boss firm, which is also in s.w. Germany got in very hot water for being a RZM Lieferant and a consumer of slave labor. I should imagine that many of the firms of any size also made use of slave labor, as well.

    Happy cap badges and cannot someone make a cross reference to the places on old sites where some of you had delineated the major types of badges in clear detail? The German dagger site was pretty good on this score, I thought.

    Does one find the "SP 40" on other items of regalia known to humankind, i.e. army cap insignia or something similar? Belt buckles? Something? I have not seen it, but then I do not see much.
    damit, basta.

  5. #24

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    as someone who is on the periphery on this topic of collecting I am fascinated by the depth of enthusiasm for the subject. following the logic of manufacturer's initial , manufacturers worksite and year of manufacture, my thought process naturally leads to the question , why should a cap eagle have the full trip of markings to include SS and skulls do not ? this includes both items from the same manufacturer. I re-itterate, the only reason I ask this question is that I am looking at this from a disinterested point of view

  6. #25

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    I am not the best to reply to your post above, as I do not collect these objects as an end and means in itself. My colleagues do and they know more about these objects than do I. However, I think the Totenschaedel cap badge, along with the dagger and the collar patch, strongly signify the SS as a phenomenon to many collectors. Also, the cap badge is portable, prone to being arrayed in a Riker mount or shadow box and gives more bang for the buck for the aspiring SS collector of whatever orientation. To be sure, a complete uniform or even the peaked cap is a more expensive and expansive proposition. And, there seems to be a very restricted supply of these cap badges in the face of what has been almost unlimited demand. And, the details of them are complicated and arcane levied against the fact the stupid little things have been faked for a very long time. Finally, there also adheres to these objects a fair amount of collector lore and legends which collide with the record of the past that leads to harsh feelings in the cognitive dissonance between lofty dream and prosaic reality. At some level, there are things about these objects which collectors want to know and can never really know, because those who knew such facts have forgotten, did not know at the time, and, mostly likely, are in Valhalla with other things on their mind.
    Finally, I also think that in whatever mythical time matters to the process of securing them, be it in 1945 or now, people stripped or even now strip these things off of real caps, thereby adding an element of scarcity and complication.

    I am sure my colleagues have even more acute and insightful things to say about these objects. I can also imagine surviving examples in whatever year being destroyed by the hundreds and thousands as being anything other than a desirable object. But you have to credit that odd Heini H. for understanding the cult-ic power of the symbolism of death as connected to some other unpleasant truths in human nature in extremis.
    damit, basta.

  7. #26

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    what is your preference, Parsifal or Gotterdamerung ?

  8. #27

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    I failed to mention above that from about 1934 onwards the SS implemented what eventually became a parallel procurement system to that of the NSDAP. This fact derived from the SS drawing its funding from multiple sources, as was typical of its approach to the Nazi state in the years 1933 until 1940 or so. That is, the administrative/procurement branch of the SS leadership instituted its own contract numbering system which appears often or in lieu of the RZM license system that emerged in the first years of the new regime. That is, a contractor could thus have an identity as an SS contractor as well as to the NSDAP generally. In the case, I believe, of Zimmermann cap badges there are markings with dual contract numbers and dates, as well as the SS runes. The runes also appeared on buttons and other Uniformeffekten (hooks and buckles, come to mind, as well as fittings on belts generally....) I also theorize that some of the funding for certain paramilitary organizations may have been out of such entities as the war ministry and the ministry of the interior and hence perhaps obligated/spent only through the Verwaltungsamt SS and not through regular party channels. There is an excellent book on the economic enterprises of the SS (which arose just so as to circumvent the limits on the grown of the SS) in which many of these details are laid out and I am surmising about some of the details above.

    My colleagues can correct my mistakes. I am not aware of an authentic Totenschaedel badge with runes, but such can be found, as I mention, on the Zimmernmann Hoheitszeichen. And, as I mentioned, on other Uniformeffekten of various kinds.
    damit, basta.

  9. #28

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    Quote by prosty zolnierz View Post
    what is your preference, Parsifal or Gotterdamerung ?
    That is an excellent question, maybe the former, since it is a more hopeful experience than the latter. But I am also quite fond of the latter, too.

    I have been once to Bayreuth for a tour of the parking lot, I can say. I never made it to the festival, itself, but I would like to.

    Had I not devoted my life to the professional study of the German past, I would have very much preferred a career in music.
    damit, basta.

  10. #29

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    good man

  11. #30

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    Note the VA contract number on the back of the Hoheitszeichen together with the RZM mark. Also notice the use of the SS runes on the back of the alu. Koppelschloss.

    The 394 35 reflects the October 1935 promulgation of what collectors describe as a 1936 Hoheitszeichen. The design was approved by AH and ordered into wear as of late October 1935, but the issue here is the contract number of SS nomenclature.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    damit, basta.

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