Product Description: A Rural Police Shako by Erel in a beautifully preserved state. The shake is made of a pressed paper base, which was then covered with a thin feldgrau wool. The wool covering is in near mint condition and shows no signs of damage or mothing. The upper crown of the Rural Police Shako by Erel is made of leather which was covered with a chocolate brown lacquer. This lacquer is what gives the Shako its pleasing smooth look. The lacquer does have a few small areas where it has begun to crack, likely from heat exposure, and some small pieces have lifted. The leather crown is securely attached to the top of the base with its original stitching. The front and rear bills of this Rural Police Shako by Erel are also made of a pressed fiber board, but are covered in the smooth chocolate brown lacquer like the crown. The bills are in near mint condition, and are still firmly attached to the Shako by its original stitching. The lower portion of the Shako is trimmed with a near mint, beautiful brown lacquered leather trim which runs the base perimeter of the Shako. The brown leather chinstrap is in excellent condition, and shows only a slight amount of wear. The insignia of the Shako is in near mint condition. The large near mint aluminum Police eagle is bright and clean which gives it the look like it almost pops out from the cap. The push-in cockade device is set securely in place. The interior leather liner is in near mint condition. The leather is supple and clean, there are no tears, and the original liner drawstring is in place. The lining of the Rural Police Shako by Erel is in near mint condition as well. The black lacquer interior is nearly perfect, and the central maker mark of the EREL company is vividly present.
Historical Description: The German Polizei (Police) had very many different roles before and during WWII. There were many different Police organizations that worked together for the purposes of law enforcement and maintaining order. The Ordnungspolizei was the regular police. Under the Ordnungspolizei umbrella were the various Schutzpolizei (protection police) units, including state, municipal, rural, and traffic police. There was also the Water Protection Police and the Fire Protection Police. Also within the Ordnungspolizei jurisdiction was the Hilfspolizei, a category which included volunteer fire departments, Air Raid Protection Police, postal protection, and Factory Protection Police, among other groups. Police batallions of the Ordnungspolizei deployed to occupied territories during WWII, where their duties included the roundup and elimination of Jews and other civilian groups the Nazis regarded as undesirable. Besides the Ordnungspolizei, there was also the Sicherheitspolizei, made up of the combined forces of the criminal police and the Gestapo secret police. Also under police jurisdiction was the Sicherheitsdienst, the intelligence service of the Nazi party and SS. Starting in 1943, all German police forces were placed under the command of SS leader Heinrich Himmler. The various Polizei organizations all had distinctive uniforms and insignia which indicated rank, organizational assignment, and occupational assignment. Headgear of Polizei units ranged from the mostly ornamental “Tschako” helmets of civilian police forces, to field caps and combat helmets. As with all Third Reich uniformed organizations, the Polizei had their own ID documents and awards, as well.
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