Original German WWII HJ National Youth Organization Leader's Sommermütze Visor Cap by Ostland with RZM Tag
Original Item: Only One Available. AH believed German youth to be the future of his 3rd Reich. The HJ (AH Jugend or HJ) National Youth Organization was formed officially in 1935, and with the exception of NSDAP ideology indoctrination was very similar to the Boy Scouts. Beginning at about the age of ten years, both boys aged 14-18 (AH Jugend) and girls aged 14-18 (Bund Deutscher Mädel) were enlisted in the Party-run organization.
Within the organization, a degree of military style ranks were maintained, and older boys with leadership potential were promoted to leadership positions, and outfitted with visor caps very similar to the Offiziere Schirmmütze (Officer Visor Caps) used in the military. This is a very nice service worn example of one of these caps, which was recently acquired directly from the family of a WWII Veteran. It still has the HJ RZM label visible in the rear under the sweatband. It identifies the cap as a SOMMERMÜTZE (Summer Hat), and gives the Hersteller (maker) number of 96, as well as a "B" tax number of 139562. There is also a very faint Ostland maker mark on the remains of the crown sweat shield.
The is constructed from the same tan color wool fabric as used by the SA and NSDAP, and looks to be a "whipcord" style weave. The band is the same color, and it features a traditional high forward crown. The crown stiffener has been removed, giving it a lovely "saddle form" crushed shape. The crown of the cap is piped in red, while the cap band has silver bullion piping on either side, indicating an H J Leader. It has the correct silver bullion chin strap for a leaser as well.
The peak of the cap has a lovely silvered alloy eagle installed, with a HJ enameled diamond insignia below. This matches the style of insignia seen on other examples of these caps that we have seen, and they show no sign of being removed. The chin strap is attached with the standard silvered buttons on either side of the cap. The vulcanfibre visor has a smooth black leather-look upper, exhibiting light wear along the edge, as well as find checking and crazing in the gloss black finish throughout. The underside is light tan, and shows moderate staining from use. The brown leather sweatband is in good condition, still supple with no tears or other major damage, however much of the stitching has let go on the rear half of the cap. Size is approximately US 7 (56cm).
The cap is lined with lovely cream rayon faux silk, and still retains a cracked and deteriorated sweat shield, which has pulled out the stitching on part of the cap. We can barely make out the Ostland name, and there is some other information that looks to read "stirn=klasse", but we cannot be certain.
The condition of the cap shows extensive wear from service, and most likely from mothing during the post war years. The outer layer of fabric has been removed in areas, particularly around the left front area of the crown. The under layer of fabric can be seen here, as well as the wicker underlayer of the piping, which was also worn or eaten away. Many of these areas were later stabilized by stitching to improve the appearance of the cap, as well as to hopefully prevent the fabric from deteriorating further.
A very rare HJ Leader's Visor cap, with a great service worn look. We have never had one of these caps before, and we do not expect to see another anytime soon! A nice "salty" example, ready to add to your collection!
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