WWII German Third Reich M34 Einsatzgruppen Helmet. This authentic light weight helmet (edelstahl - high grade steel) was worn by the uniformed men of the Aktion T4. The unit was formed by SS Obergruppen-Fuhrer Reinhard Heydrich in 1939 and was responsible for some of the greatest human rights abuses in the Eastern Front. The helmet is your standard gray green color and has been issued for use by the sinister Einsatzgruppen or possibly for light duty SS service. "CrNi" is etched on the inside right and refers to the high grade metal content i.e. Chromium and Nickel. Some light bleed through rust is present at the front.
The SS decal and party shield are both your textbook C.A. Pocher which one would expect to find on an SS M34 Edelstahl helmet and actually has a bit of a granular sparkle to it even with the naked eye which no post war fake I have ever encountered has been able to achieve. I can even make out faint traces of a gray shadow overlap where the runes have a tiny edge of silvery white running up along their black edges. This would be because the original silk screen printer printed the silver shields first with not quite enough blank space to fit in the runes and so there is a bit of overlap going on there. I have never seen a post war fake decal achieve this characteristic and am not sure it's even possible with today's digitally based printers.
The inside leather liner is present and has never been removed from the shell and is crudely marked 59 crossed off to 58 as if rushed off the factory floor. The chinstrap is one of the greatest and rarest aspects of this helmet and is RZM stamped with a faint FTB 44 (LG Karlsruhe- Hagsfeld) stamping on the very end suggesting an overall very late war production date.
An extremely fine example to say the least.
SPECIAL NOTE: Based on the numerous usb-microscopic photos at the end of the gallery I believe both decals to be physically printed by the process of layered lithography and so WW2 applied. One can make out the uneven edges between the black runes and the metallic silver base as well as line overlap between the red, black and white on the party shield. These decals are definitely not modern day reproductions or high resolution digital copies but are actual hand printed decals just as one would expect with an original. The last 5 photos on page 4 of the gallery show a known original C.A. Pocher decal still on it's backing paper against my 50x usb microscope close ups. In my opinion the granular metallic marbling are one in the same verses my M34 SS Edelstahl helmet. Different opinions are always welcomed of course.
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GERMAN HELMET FACTORY PRODUCTION CODES
(Every original German helmet produced from 1935 to 45 had two factory stampings punched into the side and rear or both in the rear. The alpha numeric number refers to the factory location and the inside metric circumference in centimeters. The rear lot number refers to the production run and was used as a quality control measure. The font styles used at each factory were slightly different but highly consistent throughout the war and so fakes or reproductions will either not have these numbers at all or they will use the wrong font style or letter spacing and so are easily identified as post war made.)
(FS or EF)-Emaillierwerke AG, Fulda, Germany
(ET or ckl)-Eisenhuttenwerke, Thale, Germany
(Q)-Quist, Esslingen, Germany
(NS)-Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke, Schwerte, Germany
(SE or hkp)-Sachsische Emaillier u. Stanzwerke, Lauter, Germany