Updated: Sep 26, 2020
The photograph here shows a member of the Zollgrenzschutz. The Zollgrenzschutz was first established in 1919, in a Weimar Germany. This was established as there was a troubles with trade as a result of the great depression. The Zollgrenzschutz was transferred and re organised into more of a military organisation. They were incorporated into the Third Reich as a paramilitary force as the German Customs Border Guards from 1937 to 1945. The role of the Border Zoll was to not only manage border immigration but to police it too. They also managed supplies such as foods and tradable goods in and out of the country as an administrative force.
The eagle on the cuff title and patterned braided crusher are to show us that he is a part of the Zollgrenzschutz. The shoulder boards cannot be fully seen to help give an exact rank, there can be a single pip seen on the board. There appears to be no tresse but cannot be made for certain. The suggestion is that he is the rank of Hilfzollassistent (Zollassistent). This being Customs Assistant. Notably seen with a claw belt and a detailed two colour green and silver, this denoting he is an officer. Also notably seen with a pistol attached to belt seen just tucked under his arm. He is also seen wearing a crisp great coat with leather gloves, must be cold in the town or city he is in. The Hilfzollassistent finishes of his sharp look with polished boots. He is seen here on the streets of a town, or city potentially where he works. The photographer must have been quite skilled to take this photograph, as the background is slightly out of focus with the Hilfzollassistent being centre focus and in crisp clarity. Impressive skill for what at most times was "guess work" for photographers, many being ammeters unless Kriegsberichters themselves, but they were more tasked with political or in the field combat photography. This is a personal photograph being used to show off how smart the Hilfzollassistent is and would be likely be kept at home as a reminder of him, showcased proudly by the family to show their loved one doing his part for the country.