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DDR Volkspolizei medal

Article about: With regards to my recent post concerning the KVP & DGP Leistungsabzeichen... and the somewhat confusing state of affairs concerning medals issued with numbers, and certificates which sh

  1. #1

    Default DDR Volkspolizei medal

    With regards to my recent post concerning the KVP & DGP Leistungsabzeichen (KVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen)... and the somewhat confusing state of affairs concerning medals issued with numbers, and certificates which should have numbers, being issued without them. I would imagine that most collectors of NVA medals will be aware of the three grades of bronze, silver, and gold for the different lengths of service... well here is one medal that is totally different. Please excuse the added items in the image... that is just me trying to be a bit arty-farty!


    DDR Volkspolizei medal


    The 'Medaille Fur treue Dienste' (Stufe 111 verliehen) was instituted on April 28th 1955, and originally it was meant to be in three grades... 'Stufe 111' for five years service, 'Stufe 11' for 10 years service, and 'Stufe 1' for 15 years service - but this grade was never awarded. Rather unusually, ALL classes of the medal were in bronze and it is remarkably similar in design to the medal awarded to members of the 'Ministeriums des Innern.' which came in bronze, silver, and gold. Illustrated below is the Urkunde for the Volkspolizei medal, and three others for members of the MDI.


    DDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medal


    The MDI were responsible for much of the state apparatus such as fire brigades, prisons, Volkspolizei and Kampfgruppen, and to my (wrong) way of thinking it would have made more sense to have one design of medal to encompass all the different organisations which came under the umbrella of the: 'Ministeriums des Innern.' It isn't always possible to tell from the MDI Urkunde whether the recipient was desk-bound, or out 'in the field,' but in the case of Ronald Grolle it is a different matter, for I have papers from SED that show he re-joined his old unit in 1961 to assist in the construction of the Berlin wall for a period of two weeks. But all this is diverging from the initial purpose of showing the Volkspolizei medal. Below is an illustration of the cased medals currently in my collection, and its worth noting the different colours of boxes used. It is only a guess, but the colour of the boxes might have changed with the year of issue - for I know for sure that one way of dating the higher state awards was by the colour of the lining within the case. The green case contains Grolle's medal from 1957... Plottner's medal is in a blue case with the Urkunde dated 1960... Lauerwald's award in silver is in a brown case, and then we have the Volkspolizei medal which is in a better quality black case and the Urkunde dated 1955.


    DDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medal


    The medal itself is much larger than the MDI version, having a diameter of 38 mm compared to the smaller MDI medal at 32 mm, and the clasp on the back is of the older version. I'm fairly sure that I have seen numbered examples of this award, and I suppose the blank space for a number on the Urkunde would reinforce this. Examples of the medal (with Urkunde) vary in price from dealer to dealer, but if you want a 'Stufe 11' version of it you are going to need deep pockets to pay for it. Click on images to enlarge

    Cheers,
    Steve.


    DDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medal
    Last edited by HARRY THE MOLE; 02-02-2020 at 09:19 PM.
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

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  3. #2

    Default

    Very nice mate.
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  4. #3

    Default

    Interesting, never heard of this one before...seems like something that's easy to miss if you're not careful, as you say it is very similar to the MdI medal...

    -Joel

  5. #4

    Default

    I had no idea how large the medal was until it arrived. I just thought that it was the same size as the MDI medal... I assumed that it was just another variant.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  6. #5

    Default

    Very nice examples Steve,

    For me these are amongst the most difficult sets of all the DDR medals to understand probably because they are so similar to the MdI series that replaced them. I think that happened in 1959 (?) which is likely why the Stufe I appears not to have been awarded.

    I don't think I have seen any mention of serial numbered medals but I suppose it must have been intended at least when the Urkunden were designed with a number box?

    I started off trying to confine my DDR collection to just the NVA but that didn't last long because as with the Soviet system it is very difficult to draw a line when so much of what we tend to refer to as "The Civil Powers" under the DDR system are paramilitary "bewaffneten Organen" (armed organisations) and almost impossible to separate. Never a thought for the struggling collector eh?

    Oh well, time to start another medal drawer!

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  7. #6

    Default

    Just to throw a little more confusion on the subject Mark, you are absolutely correct in your reasoning for the 'Stufe 1' not being awarded, and the medal awarded to my man in 1955 for five years service would mean that he must have joined the Volkspolizei in 1950. A 10 year award (Stufe 11) would bring you up to 1960. But Ronald Grolle was issued his MdI award in 1957, so theoretically (at least) the MdI award could not have been introduced as a replacement for the Volkspolizei award, as it was already in place at the same time. It would make more sense that the Volkspolizei award might have been quietly dropped some time after 1960.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  8. #7

    Default

    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    Just to throw a little more confusion on the subject Mark, you are absolutely correct in your reasoning for the 'Stufe 1' not being awarded, and the medal awarded to my man in 1955 for five years service would mean that he must have joined the Volkspolizei in 1950. A 10 year award (Stufe 11) would bring you up to 1960. But Ronald Grolle was issued his MdI award in 1957, so theoretically (at least) the MdI award could not have been introduced as a replacement for the Volkspolizei award, as it was already in place at the same time. It would make more sense that the Volkspolizei award might have been quietly dropped some time after 1960.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Exactly Steve,

    I don't think that the MdI medal was introduced to replace the VP medal. Rather the two existed initially in parallel and the authorities decided that as there were two medals that were very similar and in general could be seen to encompass equally similar award criteria, there was an economy and rationalisation to be made by the deletion of one.
    As the MdI medal covered multiple organisations whilst the VP medal covered well, just the VP it seems fairly easy to guess which would be deleted in favour of the other.

    Maybe even the Communists liked to "Stick it to the cops"

    It would be nice to find the written instrument that brought it about though.

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  9. #8

    Default Some further information

    Some further information which I came across today concerning the MdI & VoPo medals ... The: 'Medaille fur treue Dienste' was apparently approved on January 22nd 1959 by the Council of Minsters of the GDR, although the information refers to: 'The badge of honour itself, together with the award certificate, was awarded years before the foundation, for example, on 7th October 1957.' Ronald Grolle's award of the 'Medaille fur treue Dienste' which is in my collection, is dated for November 1957. So I think that it is safe to assume that when 'badge of honour' is mentioned, it is actually the medal which is being referred to. It also mentions that this medal was viewed as a successor to the VoPo award, although it appears that for at least a few years, both awards ran concurrently. Aside from this, a further three grades of medal were brought in on August 28th 1964. The medal is larger than the earlier medal, and is in gold with the appropriate years of service marked on the medal. The extra award was for 20... 25... and 30 years service. I've illustrated my 20 year award example next to another MdI award, the medal: 'Fur Ausgezeichnete Leistungen.' This medal was awarded to members of the MdI for achievements of excellence, and could also be awarded to VoPo volunteers (Helfer). Click on images to enlarge.

    Cheers,
    Steve


    DDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medalDDR Volkspolizei medal
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

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