On the far left, an Oberzollrat of the Zollgrenzschutz.
|Dissolved||8 May 1945|
|Type||Paramilitary Border Guards|
|Parent agency||Reich Financial Administration|
Zollgrenzschutz (ZGS) (lit. 'Customs Border Guards') was an organization under the German Finance Ministry from 1937 to 1945. It was charged with guarding Germany's borders, acting as a combination Border Patrol and Customs & Immigration service.
It originated in the early 19th century as a tariff enforcement unit of the Prussian government. Reorganized in 1919 under the Weimar Republic following World War I, it gradually became more militarized and transformed into a paramilitary force, also due to the economic woes of blockade, inflation and Great Depression.
In Nazi Germany it was reformed again in 1937 by Fritz Reinhardt, a State Secretary of the Finance Ministry. It came to comprise about 50,000 officials. The Border Police (Grenzpolizei), which had the tasks of passport and border control, was different from the Customs Border Guards. (Zollgrenzschutz).
Heinrich Himmler tried to bring the Zollgrenzschutz under the control of the Schultzstaffel (SS), which was unsuccessful at first. During the war, the units were used in occupied territories outside of Germany. A significant portion of younger officials were recruited to the Wehrmacht, leaving the Zollgrenzschutz with older men. After the 20 July 1944 assassination attempt on Hitler, the units were taken out of the control of the Finance Ministry and placed under Amt IV (Gestapo) of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA).
It was deactivated at the end of World War II in Europe when Germany was partitioned.
|Collar insignia||Shoulder insignia||ZGS Rank||Translation||Heer equivalent|
|Generalinspekteur des Zollgrenzschutzes||General Inspector of the Customs Border Guards||Generalleutnant|
with less than three years in the grade
|Oberzollsekretär||Senior Customs Secretary||Leutnant|
|Customs operations assistant||Feldwebel|
|Zolloberwachtmeister||Customs Senior Sergeant||Unteroffizier|
|Zollgrenzangestellter||Customs border employee||Schütze|