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Die Deutsche Ehrendenkmünze des Weltkrieges

Article about: For lack of a designated Weimar-era sub-forum, I felt it most appropriate to post this thread in the “Imperial Germany and Austro-Hungary” one. Here is my latest acquisition: A nice example

  1. #21


    I think this is the first time I have seen an award doc for this award.

    Nice thread --well done.

    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  2. #22


    I took this photograph for another thread, but felt it would be appropriate to include it here as well.

    A "group picture" of three unofficial Weimar-era decorations for WWI service, the Deutsche Ehrendenkmünze des Weltkrieges (with the Kampfabzeichen) is joined by the Kriegsehrenkreuz mit Schwertern as awarded by the Ehrenbund Deutscher Weltkriegsteilnehmer e.V. and the Kriegsdenkmünze 1914/18 des Kyffhäuserbundes (with swords):

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #23


    Just in, here is my first miniature of the Ehrendenkmünze.

    The mini is bronze-colored and measures 17 millimeters in diameter. It came with another copper-toned full-size medal.

    Obverse and reverse view:

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    A closer look at the miniature:

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  4. #24


    Nice combo, congrats. I can supply you with full size ribbon if you want.

  5. #25


    Well, it didn't take long for the family to grow larger still. The latest addition is this mounted full-size medal with the Kampfabzeichen and the lapel bow to go with it.

    Obverse and reverse view:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A closer look at the the ribbon. It is folded over and fitted with a snap button closure. Apparently, it was to be attached to a thread loop sewn to the garment it was worn on (as was the practice with Austrian uniforms):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Obverse and reverse view of the lapel bow. Note the Godet mark:

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  6. #26


    Just in are two documents I bought off eBay for a very good price: An award certificate for the non-combatants' medal (i.e. without the Kampfabzeichen) as well as the accompanying letter.
    (They actually came with another letter to the same recipient, which I have omitted here as it has no connection to the medal.)

    The recipient was Mrs. Johanna Hueck of Berlin-Charlottenburg. She is referred to as "Frau Geheime Bergrat"; this would not have been her own title, but the one held by her husband, a high-ranking mining official. Documents to female recipients of the medal are comparatively rare.

    Obverse view of the award document. Note that it is a different variant from the one seen in post no. 20. It bears the printed signature of Erich Ludendorff:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Reverse view showing the award date and the number in the recipients' list:

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    The letter:

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    It says:

    "Dear comrade,

    attached, we present you with the Ehrendenkmünze des Weltkrieges as well as the award certificate and allow ourselves to send you our most heartfelt congratulations.

    We kindly ask you to forgive the delayed handling. Organisational changes and a move of our offices have prevented a swifter execution.

    As we do not yet have a volunteer helper in your area, we would be grateful for a reply on whether you would be inclined to assume this role in your area. Upon obtaining your consent, we would forward additional information to you. We are looking forward to hearing your reaction in this matter as soon as possible.

    At the same time, we recommend you to make use of the facilities we have created in the interest of the comrades (association newsletter - economic aid - insurance department etc.) We are always pleased to provide any information.

    The attached special letter concerning our organizations' organ is submitted for your particular attention.

    Finally, we would like to inform you that the waiting period for awards of the medal is reduced to 14 days, effective 1 May 1927.

    With loyal German salutations!

    The Order Council of the Deutsche Ehrenlegion e.V

    (Note that the second and third paragraphs - the ones about the delayed handling and the request to become a volunteer helper - have been crossed out in the original letter.)

  7. #27


    More period paperwork; this one contains some useful background information on the medal as well as its statutes, which is why I will provide a full translation of it.

    This is actually only half of the document: The other - missing - half is the actual application form for an award of the medal.

    These documents are usually found in this incomplete state, as they were retained by the applicants while the application forms were detached and mailed to the Ordensrat.

    Obverse/first page:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Reverse/second page:

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    Last edited by HPL2008; 03-21-2016 at 12:30 AM.

  8. #28


    Here are the translations now. I have decided to leave the name of the medal as well as the terms "Ordensrat i.V." and "Deutsche Ehrenlegion" in the original German.

    Translation of the first page:

    "Deutsche Ehrendenkmünze des Weltkrieges (D.E.d.W.)
    on the hallowed-black-white-red medal ribbon
    with the

    Published on 1 December 1922.

    The governments of all nations - monarchies and republics alike - that had gone to war against Germany and her allies honored those of their citizens that had striven to fulfill their duty to their homeland by means of visible signs of recognition. Orders and commemorative medals were created everywhere and awarded to those who deserved them.

    The present German government did no such thing.

    Now, those who had striven - under arms, by their work, with their honest will and while bravely suffering sacrifices - to keep Germany from the nameless calamity of a defeat whose crushing weight is getting clearer with every new day; were they not deserving of an award, in contrast to those who had shirked this duty?

    Crushed by the overthrow, the old governments of Germany had already decorated many during the war. Had the stab in the back not occurred, many, many more would have received a much-deserved decoration, as the lists of those to be decorated were far from being completed in November 1918.

    Furthermore, an honoring commemorative war medal had been projected, which would have adorned the chest of all those who had striven to fulfill their duty, just as it had been after all wars that the German people were forced to fight. It was to make up for the flaws that have to occur in the awarding of special war decorations, as human work is only human work and thus, while the best possible justice is striven for, it can never be fully achieved. Many, very many, who had not received a special decoration, expected this compensation, and justifiably so. As early as December 1918, despite of the revolution, efforts were already made to close this gap in the interest of justice. This was not readily possible. Matters had to be resolved and the actual documents had to be procured. A whole number of difficulties had to be overcome until, in the summer of 1921, the “
    Ordensrat für die Deutsche Ehrendenkmünze i.V.” took over the execution of the task. The Ordensrat was founded as an independent body of initially 9 mandatees, whose number was gradually increased to 48. It undertakes awards of the D.E.d.W. “in Vertretung”. Its principles are clearly evident from the order statues found on the next page. Membership of any organization or political party is not required of the applicants, who are herewith requested to refrain from submitting any military- or other documents. Scoundrels who attempt or succeed to attain the D.E.d.W. without any moral entitlement are firmly branded by the Ordensrat by revocation of the decoration, as has already occurred in several cases. The hallowed black-white-red medal ribbon has not been created for the kind of creatures named in the footnotes of the order statutes.

    Awards of the D.E.d.W. – which owes its design to the masterly hand of Franz Stassen after the original design had already been submitted to His Majesty Kaiser Wilhelm II even before the revolution - are made by closely following the plans of the old government of glorious Germany. As a historic, general commemorative war medal, plain and clear on the black-white-red medal ribbon, today it is already worn by 160,000 holders together with their other decorations. Despite all hostility from anti-national, anational and international elements, members of all German tribes, all levels of society and all professions proudly avow this decoration, having accepted the novel kind of submission to the decision by the
    Ordensrat, which was only born from the misery of the present time of shame and disgrace. While commemorative war medals awarded by other parties – such as that of the Kyffhäuserbund, which exclusively created its decoration for members of veterans’ associations who had been called up for military service – are only open to certain groups of people, the “Deutsche Ehrendenkmünze des Weltkrieges” – and its subsequent period – the decoration of the “Deutsche Ehrenlegion” *) was instituted on 21 Sept. 1921 for all members of the German people, allies and friends as long as they are worthy and deserving of this decoration.

    Not only are the highest members of German nobility, not only are our glorious commanders and military leaders, be they the Field Marshals von Hindenburg and von Mackensen,
    Großadmiral von Tirpitz, Generaloberst Count von Botherm, General der Infanterie Ludendorff, his Imperial-Royal Highness Field Marshal Archduke Frederick of Austria, His Royal Highness Field Marshal Archduke Joseph of Hungary and the Imperial-Royal Field Marshal Count von Hötzendorff Knights of the Deutsche Ehrenlegion, but so are the most significant patriotically-minded statesmen, politicians and representatives of all possible orientations. The most-renowned friends of Germany in all countries who had not striven for the end of Germandom also honor Germandom and themselves as holders of the D.E.d.W. and by avowing its hallowed black-white-red colors, among them Her Majesty the Queen of Sweden, the Regent of Hungary His Serene Highness Admiral von Horthy and Prince Awaloff-Bermondt.

    [signed:] Rud. Hering-Deutschwehr,
    Königlicher Hauptmann (ret.)
    The Chancellor of the
    Deutsche Ehrenlegion.

    From submission of this application to the announcement of the award, some 4 to 8 weeks may pass depending on the circumstances. Please refrain from any written reminders or inquiries prior to the expiration of this period.

    *) The “
    Deutsche Ehrenlegion” is the community of all holders of the D.E.d.W.

    [Written laterally on the left:]

    Detach here! The applicant retains this sheet and is obliged to keep it.
    Last edited by HPL2008; 03-20-2016 at 05:45 PM.

  9. #29


    Translation of the second page:

    The D.E.d.W., the black-white-red medal ribbon and the Kampfabzeichen are protected as a utility pattern and registered design in lieu of protection by national law. *)

    No. 766729
    This number and the submission date of the application form are to be stated in all letters to the
    Ordensrat i.V.

    Order statutes*)
    of the
    Deutsche Ehrendenkmünze des Weltkrieges (D.E.d.W.)
    on the hallowed-black-white-red medal ribbon.

    The D.E.d.W. is a decoration that was created as a memory to the dead, an honor to the living and an example to follow for those who come after us. It is the historical decoration that would have been awarded had the victory of the glorious German arms not been thwarted insidiously. It is awarded by the
    Ordensrat i.V. for the D.E.d.W. upon application or recommendation. **)

    As a war decoration, the D.E.d.W. is to be worn on a black-white-red medal ribbon right after the German war orders. ***)

    Men who attest by their honor and conscience to have faced the enemy as combatants on the front are awarded the
    Kampfabzeichen – consisting of a sword with a wreath of oak leaves – along with the D.E.d.W.

    The honor certificate of the D.E.d.W. is also the award certificate for this decoration.

    The D.E.d.W. may be awarded to all German men and women whose worthiness ****) of the decoration is proven by their written affidavit that they had striven to the best of their knowledge and conscience to do their duty for the German Fatherland during the World War and the subsequent period.

    As there are no public funds available for the national effort that is the D.E.d.W., all applicants have to cover the cost themselves by means of a fee. This has been kept as low as possible and has to be adjusted to the German currency’s high or low rate by the
    Ordensrat i.V. ****)

    In order to make awards of the D.E.d.W. to such men and women who are financially unable to cover the fee themselves, the
    Ordensrat i.V. keeps a special order allocation. Into it goes a fraction (250 Marks) of the overall fees paid by the other applicants. The Ordensrat i.V. awards the D.E.d.W. without payment of the fee only if the reasons are stated.

    Following the award, the holders of the D.E.d.W. enter no obligations of a financial or any other kind.
    They are registered as “Knights of the
    Deutsche Ehrenlegion” in the rolls of the Ordensrat i.V.

    If a holder of the D.E.d.W. is guilty of a dishonorable act as understood by the principles of the glorious old German armed forces, his D.E.d.W. is revoked by the
    Ordensrat i.V. with simultaneous expulsion from the Deutsche Ehrenlegion.
    An appeal is not possible.

    Ordensrat i.V. consists of its regular members as mandatees. Acting by their internal service regulations, they administrate all matters relating to the D.E.d.W. as unpaid volunteers and report to the appropriate offices.

    Ordensrat i.V.

    Heinrich Graf Waldbott von Bassenheim,
    Dr. Buchholz,
    Dr. Dingeldey,
    Kriegsfreiwilliger Gefreiter
    Friedrich Wilhelm Prinz zur Lippe,
    Graf von Luckner,
    von Mücke,
    Dr. Peschke,
    Freiherr von Richthofen (dec.), Oberleutnant
    Graf Schack von Wittenau, Oberst
    Schlageter (dec.),

    In the old glorious armed forces.

    *) The D.E.d.W. is not available in free trade. The trustee of the
    Ordensrat i.V., the Royal Court Jewellers J. Godet & son, Berlin W 8, Charlottenstr. 55, are obligated by contract with the Ordensrat i.V. to sell any desired replacement medals, miniature versions, ribbons etc. only to official holders of the D.E.d.W. who state their number in the award roll; these items are exclusively shipped from there, not by the work office.

    **) Entitled to submit “recommendations” – which are only to be made in exceptional cases – are the regular members, the officers and representatives of the
    Ordensrat i.V. as well any person that enjoys general respect. In the case of “recommendations” the person making the recommendation has to submit an affidavit in which they declare that the person for whom the recommendation has been made is worthy of the decoration within the meaning of the order statutes and willing to accept it. In these cases, the personal signature of the applicant is to be replaced by the personal signature of the person making the recommendation.

    ***) If only Prussian decorations are worn, directly after the Prussian
    Verdienstkreuz für Kriegshilfe, otherwise, according to the former regulations issued by the German states. In case of doubt, information is available from the trustee of the Ordensrat i.V. named under *).

    ****) Worthy are: All men and women, German or friends of Germany, domestic and abroad, who, professionally, as unpaid volunteers or in their private lives, in the field, in the rear areas or in the homeland, under arms, at their workplaces or within their families strove and still strive to the best of their abilities to prevent Germandom from being strangled by its world of enemies.
    Unworthy are all dodgers, black marketers, profiteers and those guilty of high treason or treason of any kind.

    *****) Every holder of the D.E.d.W. is entitled to review the work office’s business records.

    +) All announcements of the
    Ordensrat e.V. are published in its “Nachrichten”, in the “Deutsche Zeitung”, Berlin SW 11, Hedemannstr. 12; in “Der Oberbayer”, Ebersberg, Upper Bavaria, in the “Deutsch-Österreichische Tageszeitung”, Vienna 7, Bandgasse 32 and the weekly periodical “Der Anker”, Berlin-Lichterfelde-West, Zehlendorferstraße 18.

    ++) Application forms are available from the „Work Office of the D.E.d.W.”, Buxheim an der Iller. Swabia (Bavaria) against submission of 450 Paper Marks apiece. In case of larger orders, an proportional reduction to 300 Paper Marks is applicable.

    [Written laterally on the left:]

    Recipients unable to use this application form for themselves are requested to pass it on to another worthy person.

    Note that the members of the Ordensrat are a cross-section of the military: Their ranks range from privates to general officers, there are soldiers and seamen, members of combat- and support troops, veterinary and medical officers, a paymaster and a chaplain, noblemen and commoners.
    Some well-known names - like Albert Leo Schlageter and Felix Graf von Luckner - are among them.
    Last edited by HPL2008; 03-20-2016 at 05:58 PM.

  10. #30


    Also just in is this period photograph of a well-decorated WWI combat veteran on his wedding day:

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    A closer look:

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    On the medal bar are the following decorations:

    • Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse [Iron Cross 2nd Class, Prussia]
    • Bayerisches Militärverdienstkreuz mit Schwertern, either I. Klasse or II. Klasse [Bavarian Military Merit Cross with Swords, either 1st Class or 2nd Class, Bavaria]
    • Friedrich-August-Kreuz II. Klasse [Friedrich-August-Cross 2nd Class, Oldenburg] and the
    • Deutsche Ehrendenkmünze des Weltkrieges mit dem Kampfabzeichen

    Worn below this is the:

    • Eisernes Kreuz I. Klasse [Iron Cross 1st Class, Prussia]

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