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Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes der DDR

Article about: I originally wanted to feature this award in my thread on GDR badges [see: http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/nation...badges-312533/ ] but felt it would warrant a separate thread on its own. We

  1. #1

    Default Das Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes der DDR

    I originally wanted to feature this award in my thread on GDR badges [see: Some DDR badges ] but felt it would warrant a separate thread on its own.

    We will have a look at the Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes der DDR [Decoration of the German Red Cross of the GDR].

    This was the highest decoration of the German Red Cross of the GDR. It was awarded in recognition of particularly meritorious achievements and long-term exemplary fulfillment of duty in the German Red Cross.

    The decoration came in the customary three classes bronze, silver and gold. With a change of the award statutes in 1969, one higher grade was added: The Ehrenzeichen in Gold mit der Ehrenspange [Decoration in Gold with the Honor Clasp]. As the name implies, this was the gold grade decoration suspended from a separate, rectangular clasp. The clasp had a white obverse with a Red Cross symbol flanked by one golden oak leaf on each side.

    The decoration was a round pin-back award. It circular center field bore the Red Cross Symbol on a white background. With earlier examples, the center field was enamelled; after 1973, it was painted. This was surrounded by dual borders. The inner border was decorated with oak leaves and had the words "FÜR VERDIENSTE" ["FOR MERIT"] in its lower part. The outer one bore the words "DEUTSCHES ROTES KREUZ" ["GERMAN RED CROSS"] in the upper half and "DEUTSCHE DEMOKRATISCHE REPUBLIK" ["GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC"] in the lower one. Recipients received a two-part set with the full-size version of the badge and a miniature version for civilian wear. The basic badge was hollow-backed, whereas the special honor clasp grade was solid-backed.

    Let us start with cased examples of the bronze, silver and gold grades in the earlier enamelled version:

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    Obverse and reverse view of the bronze grade:

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    Obverse and reverse view of the silver grade:

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    Obverse and reverse view of the gold grade. Note the metal tag with the award number 10234:

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    Another example of the gold grade. This one has the award number 347:

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  3. #2

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    Now for the later, painted versions.

    Obverse and reverse view of the fulls-size bronze and silver grade decoration with a miniature of the bronze grade:

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    A late gold grade grouping. The following year, the Berlin wall fell and the year after that saw the end of the GDR.

    The cased set of decorations. Note the decline of quality in both the decorations and the case compared to the early examples seen above:

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    The set together with the presentation folder for the award document:

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    Let's have a look inside:

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    The award document proper. Its text translates as: "As a sign of recognition for outstanding achievements, the editorial staff of the magazine 'Schützen und Helfen' is awarded the Decoration of the German Red Cross of the GDR in Gold. Dresden, 11th Feb. 1988". The document is signed by Gerhard Rehwald, a former miitary physician and Generalleutnant of the NVA who served as the president of the GDR's German Red Cross from 1987 to 1989. "Schützen und Helfen" [= "To protect and help"] was the magazine for the GDR's civil defense:

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    An additional close-up of the stylized depiction of the decoration:

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  4. #3

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    And a familiy picture:

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    That's it for now. For those with an interest in Red Cross material: Some more badges from the East German Red Cross can be found at my ongoing DDR badges thread mentioned in the first post, starting with post # 20. [see: http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/nation...ml#post1212202 ]. A Red Cross decoration from a much different era is featured in my thread on the Prussian Red Cross medal [see: The Prussian Rote-Kreuz-Medaille of 1898 ]

  5. #4

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    Quote by HPL2008 View Post
    And a familiy picture:
    And a lovely family it is Andreas!
    Congratulations on completing your set!
    Ralph.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  6. #5

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    not to my taste but very nice to see.thanks HPL.

  7. #6

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    Now the familiy is really complete.

    As an early Christmas gift to myself, I acquired an example of the highest grade of this decoration, the Ehrenzeichen in Gold mit der Ehrenspange [Decoration in Gold with the Honor Clasp] already mentioned in my first post. This are significantly rarer than the - admittedly quite common - lower grades.

    Obverse and reverse views of the decoration in its case:

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    Another look:

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    Comparison between the "regular" gold grade and the special one showing the differences:

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  8. #7

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    Thanks for sharing Andreas.
    You can fill a riker case with these awards. I bet they will look awesome in a huge lot.
    Looking for the photo albums of Leutnant Emil Freitag, 3. / G.R. 377

  9. #8

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    With two new specimens of the silver grade recently added to my collection, I can now show the development (one could say deterioration) of this decoration's manufacturing style and quality.

    The earliest model had an enamelled center with transparent enamel used for the Red Cross symbol. Later, this was changed to opaque enamel. Starting in 1973, the centers were lacquered and covered in transparent plastic. From 1978 on, they were only lacquered.


    The four models seen in chronological order from left to right:

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    Three additional views:

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    (The miniatures underwent the same changes as the full-size decorations.)

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