Here is a nice new addition to my collection. A grouping of the Hungarian War Commemorative Medal for WWI consisting of a mounted full-sized medal, a miniature medal, an award certificate to a German recipient and the accompanying letter to go with the medal and the certificate.
Although it is a medal for WWI service, I decided to post it in the Axis Militaria sub-forum rather then the WW1/Austria-Hungary section, as the medal was only instituted in 1929 (i.e. long after the end of WW1 and the Austro-Hungarian Empire). Also, the award certificate is dated to 1937 and thus falls firmly into the Third Reich era.
The Magyar Háborús Emlékérem [Hungarian War Commemorative Medal, or in German Ungarische Kriegserinnerungmedaille] was instituted by the Hungarian regent Miklós Horthy on 26 May 1929. It was awarded to Hungarian WWI veterans and surviving next-of-kin of Hungarian soldiers KIA in WWI as well as to those who were in national service relevant to the war effort or active in care for the wounded or for POWs during WWI.
Military personnel - regardless of whether they served on the front or in rear areas - received the combatants' version (as seen here), next-of-kin and civilians the non-combatants' version, which had a different obverse and reverse design and a different ribbon.
Large numbers of the combatants' medal were also awarded to veterans of Hungary's allies in WWI, making this a very common decoration. (The non-combatatants' version is much rarer.)
The whole grouping:
Obverse and reverse view of the full-sized medal and the miniature:
Close-up view of the obverse and reverse of the full-sized medal:
Close-up view of the obverse and reverse of the miniature medal and an additional scale reference shot (the mini measures 15 mm in diameter):
The German text translates as:
I have the honor to cordially inform you that His Serene Highness, the Regent of Hungary*, has awarded you the Hungarian War Commemorative Medal. I forward to you the medal and the legitimation (certificate) with the honest wish that you may wear it in the best of health and for a long time with a faithful attitude towards Hungary.
So as to counter certain still-present doubts, it is simultaneously announced that holders of the German Honor Cross of the World War are authorized to wear this medal without an additional permit.
With deep comradely respect and Hungarian salutations,
von Farkas, Oberst (ret.)
Note: Legitimations are to be retained with care, as additional copies cannot be issued for the time being, or only in very exceptional cases, if the date and number of the award are stated.
Please check envelopes carefully, so as to avoid military service documents from being discarded with them; I make the comradely request to return any other persons' documents, such as award documents for the Honor Cross etc., that you may have received by mistake. Compensation for postage costs will be made."
* Admiral Horthy.
The fact that all holders of the German 1914/18 Ehrenkreuz were entitled to the Hungarian medal caused some of them to believe that they could simply purchase the Hungarian medal from authorized medal retailers if they presented them with the award certificate of the German decoration to identify themselves as legitimate recipients.
This was not the case, however: The Hungarian government recognized the previous award of the German Ehrenkreuz as proof for an applicant's eligibility and the German government authorized its citizens to accept the Hungarian decoration without previously obtaining an individual permission from German authorities, but it was still necessary to apply for the medal via the proper Hungarian channels and to await receipt of the proper award certificate.
(This matter was even addressed in an issue of the trade publication Uniformen-Markt at the time.)
The award certificate:
The bilingual Hungarian/German text translates as:
"CHANCELLERY OF THE WAR COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL
In recognition of services rendered at the front as a Feldgendarm with the 27th Reserve Corps during the World War of 1914 - 1918, Mr. Hans Hertrich, Wurzen/Saxony, has been decorated by his Serene Highness, the Regent of Hungary, with the War Commerative Medal with Swords and Helmet and is thus authorized to wear the same on the red-white-green ribbon of the War Medal.
Berlin, 27 Dec. 1937
CHANCELLERY OF THE WAR COMMEROTATIVE MEDAL
[sealed and signed by stamp: von Farkas, Oberst (ret.)]
A few other examples of the medal together with its German, Austrian and Bulgarian equivalents as seen on German Third Reich-era medal- and ribbon bars:
The pieces in the last photograph are also featured in my ongoing thread on the German Ehrenkreuz des Weltkrieges.
(see: The 1914/1918 Ehrenkreuz )