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Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

Article about: Continuing my little series of German Red Cross-related threads, this one features the Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes [Decoration of the German Red Cross] in its post-war incarnati

  1. #1

    Default Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

    Continuing my little series of German Red Cross-related threads, this one features the Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes [Decoration of the German Red Cross] in its post-war incarnation.

    An Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes had already existed from 1922 to 1939, when it was discontinued and replaced by the Ehrenzeichen für Deutsche Volkspflege [Social Welfare Decoration]. In 1953, it was re-instituted as the highest decoration of the DRK in the Federal Republic of Germany. (For its GDR equivalent, see this thread: Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes der DDR )

    The new decoration came in two classes originally designated as the Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes 1. Klasse [Decoration of the German Red Cross 1st Class] and the Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes 2. Klasse [Decoration of the German Red Cross 2nd Class].

    In 1957, they were re-named as the Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes in Gold [Decoration of the German Red Cross in Gold] and the Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes in Silber [Decoration of the German Red Cross in Silver].

    The gold grade was last awarded in 1982. While theoretically still in place, it is practically discontinued and the silver grade is now simply designated as the Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes [Decoration of the German Red Cross].

    The first class/gold grade was awarded to persons of outstanding merit in the field of furthering the principles and goals of the Red Cross- and Red Crescent movement, both nationally or internationally. The second class/silver grade is awarded to members of the German Red Cross (only in exceptional cases special to non-members) for particular merit and achievements.

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  3. #2

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    The gold grade in the version for women:

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

  4. #3

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    The awards are presented in a black case with the full-size decoration and a civilian-wear lapel bow. A cased silver class decoration in the version for women:

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes


    Another cased silver class decoration in the version for women with the award number 985:

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

  5. #4

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    The male version. When I purchased it, the case also included the miniature medal and ribbon bar for the decoration. I don't know whether they were kept there by the original recipient or added by another subsequent owner. This one is award number 6147:


    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

  6. #5

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    A few more little things. Current-style ribbon bars for the silver and gold grade and an old-school bar for the silver grade:

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes


    A so-called Bandsteg for the silver grade; this is essentially a miniature ribbon bar for civilian wear:

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes


    Miniature stickpins for the silver grade. A 15 mm solo stickpin and a 9 mm two-place stickpin with the Steckkreuz [pinback cross] of the Ehrenzeichen des Freistaates Bayern für Verdienste um das BRK [Decoration of the Free State of Bavaria for Service to the Bavarian Red Cross]:

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

  7. #6

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    And the last piece for today is a ribbon bar for a WW2 veteran who also had a long and highly distinguished service history as a volunteer in the Bavarian Red Cross.

    I know I have already shown this piece elsewhere, but it is relevant here as well (and I just like it so much), so please indulge me:

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes


    The ribbons are:

    • Verdienstmedaille des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland [Medal for Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany]
    • Eisernes Kreuz I. Klasse [Iron Cross 1st Class]
    • Verwundetenabzeichen in Silber [Wound Badge in Silver]
    • Ehrenzeichen des DRK [Decoration of the German Red Cross]
    • Ehrenzeichen des Freistaats Bayern für Verdienste um das BRK, Klasse 1 [Decoration of the Free State of Bavaria for Merit in the Interest of the Bavarian Red Cross, Class 1 (i.e. for 40 years of service)]
    • Ehrennadel des BRK (Verdienstauszeichnung) [Honor Pin of the Bavarian Red Cross (Award for Merit)]
    • Verdienstmedaille der Sanitätskolonne des Bayerischen Roten Kreuzes in Bronze [Medal of Merit of the Medical Units of the Bavarian Red Cross]
    • BRK-Leistungsabzeichen in Gold [Bavarian Red Cross Proficiency Badge in Gold]
    • Auszeichnungsspange für 40 Jahre [Award Bar for 40 years]


    Note that the first ribbon is "homemade". This is actually the small-size ribbon bar intended for civilian wear that was attached to the neutral black underlay normally used for 1957er pinback awards.

  8. #7

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    Just in, here is another stickpin, combining the Ehrenzeichen des DRK with the Bavarian first-model 40- and 25-year crosses. (See: Ehrenzeichen des Freistaates Bayern für Verdienste um das BRK. Note that by regulations, only the 40-year grade should be worn, but such individualisms are not unusual.)

    Obverse and reverse view and a scale reference shot:

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

  9. #8

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    Another new addition is this 9 mm two-place stickpin combining the Ehrenzeichen des DRK in Gold with the Steckkreuz [pinback cross] of the Ehrenzeichen des Freistaates Bayern für Verdienste um das BRK [Decoration of the Free State of Bavaria for Service to the Bavarian Red Cross] (compare with the one in post # 5, which has the silver-grade DRK-Ehrenzeichen):

    Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes

  10. #9
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    I missed this on the first time around.
    Very nice looking awards/pins. A sometimes looked over yet needed service.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

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