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eMedals-Germany, Stahlhelm. A Bezirksleiter Tunic Named to Wilhelm Münzer

Item: g38062

Germany, Stahlhelm. A Bezirksleiter Tunic Named to Wilhelm Münzer

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Germany, Stahlhelm. A Bezirksleiter Tunic Named to Wilhelm Münzer

(Der Stahlhelm Waffenrock). This is an extremely well-preserved Stahlhelm Bezirksleiter uniform constructed of a field-grey wool exterior with a grey wool interior liner. The collar, constructed of a smooth field-grey wool, is flanked by tabs constructed of a black wool base bordered by twisted silver aluminum bullion wire. Each tab bears four silvered brass rank pips with two stylized oak leaves and an acorn, and measures 70 mm (w) x 40 mm (h). Upon the shoulders sit boards constructed of a dark blue wool base bearing two rows of twisted silver bullion wire secured around a pebbled magnetic metal button. The upper right arm has a machine-embroidered Stahlhelm Westmark district sleeve patch depicting a Prussian national eagle on top of an Imperial German red, white, and black tri-colour, measuring 80 mm (h) x 58 mm (w). The upper right arm bears a NSDAP-style armband composed of a red wool base with a white disk displaying a black, multi-piece, machine-embroidered mobile swastika. The armband measures 111 mm in width, while the disk measures 95 mm in diameter. The cuffs of each arm are rolled up to a depth of 155 mm and held in place by two pieces of stitching. Each breast of the tunic has two pockets, with the upper pockets opening with a horizontal slit and reinforced buttonhole meeting a grey magnetic metal button displaying a raised Stahlhelm logo. The two bottom pockets have a diagonal slit with an identical button arrangement. The left upper breast pocket has three vertically-arranged thread loops to accommodate decorations with vertical pinbacks.

The tunic is appropriately accompanied by three awards, including a 1914 Iron Cross First Class, composed of across pattée of multi-piece construction, with a blackened magnetic iron core within a ribbed border, the obverse with a raised central “W”, with the re-institution date “1914” in raised numbering on the lower arm and the royal crown on the upper arm, the reverse plain with a vertical pinback, maker marked “KO” for Königliches Münzamt Orden, Berlin, measuring 43 mm (h) x 43 mm (w); a First War Second Class Wound Badge, constructed of silver with a mark of “800”, the obverse pebbled with a central Stahlhelm superimposed on crossed swords within a wreath of laurel leaves with a tied bow at the bottom, the reverse plain with a vertical pinback, unmarked, measuring 43 mm (h) x 38 mm (w), and; a 1923 Stahlhelm membership badge, constructed of partially black enameled silver with a mark of “835” on the reverse, vertical pinback, maker marked “STH” for Stahlhof Magdeburg Company and inscribed “IV. Mi. 395” and “20.6.1923” on reverse, measuring 30 mm in diameter. The lower reverse has a 260 mm vertical slit topped by two circular grey magnetic metal belt hooks, flanked by two pebbled grey magnetic metal belt hooks. The right breast flap has eight grey magnetic metal buttons bearing a raised Stahlhelm, all stamped “BESTE QUALITÄT” (“Best Quality”) on the reverse, meeting an equal number of reinforced buttonholes on the left breast. The interior has a complete field grey wool liner that transitions into a light grey design through the arms.The interior of the collar has three magnetic metal clips on the right, securely fastened into the lining, meeting three eyelets on the left, allowing for a flush fit with the wearer’s neck. The tunic is unmarked and measures approximately 460 mm across the shoulders, with an arm length of 638 mm and a total body length of 738 mm. The tunic is accompanied by a period original “Der Stahlhelm” membership card displaying the number “134” and name “Willy (Wilhelm) Münzer” and an address of “Martinistraße 13, Osnabrück”. The card bears the Stahlhelm logo and an inscription reading “Inhaber hat das recht, das Abzeichen zu tragen” (“The owner has the right to wear the badge”), defaced by a Stahlhelm Magdeburg stamp. Minor wear is evident to the enamels of the tunic fixtures and awards, but the tunic presents in an otherwise better than extremely fine condition.

Footnote: Wilhelm “Willy” Münzer was born on September 12, 1895 in Münster (western Germany). He served as a district leader of the Stahlhelm organisation between 1921 and 1924, as well as a deputy district leader of the radical right wing DVFP political party (Deutschvölkische Freiheitspartei = National German Freedom Party) between 1922 and 1924. In 1925, Münzer joined the NSDAP instead and in 1931 became the director of the local propaganda department in Osnabrück. A year later, he was in charge of the NSDAP local group leadership chapter of Osnabrück-Martinitor, a position he would hold until 1934. Münzer was elected to serve on the city council in 1933. He was promoted to NSDAP district leader of Osnabrück in 1934, serving in this position for the next six years. Münzer was known to propagate anti-Jewish sentiments, resulting in such a degree of open hostility towards them in Osnabrück, that in 1935 he was ordered by the Gestapo and other governmental organisations to end the excesses. Münzer took control of the Dutch province of Zeeland as appointee of the Reich Commissioner of the Netherlands in July of 1940, serving as such until the end of 1944 from the city of Koudekerke. In April of 1945, Münzer left Osnabrück, fleeing from the advancing British troops. However, he was taken prisoner shortly after and extradited to the Netherlands and spent three years in a POW camp, a former German concentration camp. After returning to Germany, he was fined 2000 Marks during the denazification process and classified as a “lesser offender” (minderbelastet). He was also tried for taking part in the arson of the Osnabrück synagogue during the Kristallnacht of 1938, but acquitted in December of 1949.

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