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Some DDR badges

Article about: Normally, I do not collect East German items, but I have now dabbled a bit in GDR badges and thought I would share them here. Still quite cheap, the items seen below (except for the last one

  1. #11
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    I do too..., though I'd hate to think of some of the ways for a DDR border soldier to earn a commendation at the Wall.....

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  3. #12

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    A few more additions.

    Somewhat halfway between tinnies and awards, these are badges issued for anniversaries of the founding of the Nationale Volksarmee. Such badges existed for the NVA's 2nd, 10th, 20th, 25th and 30th anniversaries. Presented in vast numbers, the badges could be worn on uniforms on the day of the actual anniversary and the ten days preceding it. After that, they could be kept as a commemorative item, but no more worn.

    Here is a group picture of the last three anniversary badges issued, i.e. those for the NVA's 20th, 25th and 30th birthday:

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    Now for a closer look at the individual items.

    The Abzeichen zum 20. Jahrestag der NVA [Badge for the 20th Anniversary of the NVA] is from 1976. A warship, a tank and three jet fighters represents the ground-, air- and naval forces:

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    The Abzeichen zum 25. Jahrestag der NVA [Badge for the 25th Anniversary of the NVA] from 1981. Made from cheap, lightweight metal and simple in design, it looks rather plain and insignificant:

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    After the unimaginative 25th anniversary badge, a lot more effort went into the design and manufacture of the Abzeichen zum 30. Jahrestag der NVA [Badge for the 30th Anniversary of the NVA] from 1986. This, of course, was to be the last significant anniversary for the NVA as it would cease to exist in 1990.
    On the obverse, with the GDR's flag waving above them, the profiles of a soldier, sailor and airman represent the ground-, naval- and air forces. The text on the reverse translates as "Firmly rooted in the people, led by the party, we fulfil the mission given us by the classes. Onward to the XI. party day of the SED!"

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  4. #13

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    Some more anniversary badges.

    Here are the two badges for the Grenztruppen der DDR [Border Troops of the GDR].

    The Grenzpolizei [Border Police], which would eventually evolve into the Grenztruppen, took up service on 1 December 1946. On the occasion of that event's 35th anniversary, a commemorative badge was issued in 1981. With the number "XXXV" on the bar replaced by a "40" flanked by stylized oak leaves, but otherwise unchanged in design, a badge was again issued for the 40th anniversary in 1986.

    Note that by the Eighties, the Border Troops' symbol of a boundary post and automatic gun had long been updated with the ubiquitous AK-47 replacing the original PPSh, although the classic design continued to be used on the Leistungsabzeichen (see post # 7).


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    30th and 35th anniversary of the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse [Combat Groups of the Working Class], the organization having been established in 1952. There was also a 25th anniversary badge:

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    The anniversary badges for the notorious Ministry for State Security, the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS or, colloquially, Stasi for short).

    The MfS' first anniversary badge was issued on the occasion of the 20th anniversary in 1970, followed by badges for the 25th (1975), 30th (1980) and 35th (1985) anniversaries. A badge for the MfS' 40th anniversary on 8th February 1990 was instituted and manufactured, but, with the ministry disbanded in January 1990, remained unissued. (Public wear of a Stasi badge at that time would not have been advisable, anyway...)

    The badges are found in various finishes (painted/lacquered, polyester-coated), but the basic design of the badge remained unchanged throughout its various issues except for the number of years on the obverse. The first anniversary badge from 1970 was slightly smaller than all the later ones (40 mm x 27 mm vs. 43 mm x 27 mm):


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    Last edited by HPL2008; 01-10-2014 at 05:18 PM.

  5. #14

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    NVA items such as badges and medals are real bargain collectables!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



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

  6. #15

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    Now for the Reservists' Badges [Reservistenabzeichen] of the GDR's armed forces.

    Instituted in 1965 and first awarded in 1966, these badges were presented to all former soldiers who were honorably discharged from active military service and taken into the reserves.

    The short-lived first version of the badge, which was awarded until 1968, was a stickpin for wear in the lapel buttonhole of a civilian suit. It came in three grades: Bronze was for 18 months to 2 years of service, silver for more than 2 years up to 10 years and gold for more than 10 years of service. Here are the bronze and silver grades:

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    In October 1968, the first version was replaced by a more massive two-piece medal, which could be worn with uniforms. The three grades and their award criteria remained unchanged, and recipients of the first version were provided with the appropriate class of the new style as well. All three grades are shown below:

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    1990, the very last year of Eastern Germany's armed forces, saw a completely new style of reservists' badges. Size was once more reduced to a civilian-compatible 20 mm x 24 mm and the concept of different classes was dropped: Rather than length of service, the badges now identified the wearer's former branch through appropriate symbolism and color. While these badges were manufactured, it is believed that none were ever actually issued.
    Here is the full set. Top left is the badge for the ground forces [Landstreitkräfte], top right for the air force [Luftstreitkräfte], bottom left for the navy [Volksmarine] and bottom right for the border troops [Grenztruppen]:


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  7. #16

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    Hi, Some very attractive badges!! I am going to post some of my DDR and BDR badges which may interest you and as always, I would value your opinion and knowledge with any comments or opinions which you would care to make.
    Best wishes Michael R

  8. #17

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    Returning to the subject of post # 2, here is another little update.

    I have recently found a Bestenabzeichen in the special Grenztruppen version as awarded from 1981 to 1986, when it was replaced by the new shield-shaped badge. Here it is:

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  9. #18

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    These are great examples! More to look for as well
    Best
    Paul

    47th MP Co/47th Inf Div 1983-1988
    583rd Ord Co 59th Ord Bde Muenster, W Germany
    1988-1990
    Looking for P37 ammo pouch with No4 bayo frog

  10. #19

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    An excellent collection of under appreciated badges. I have a number of these (particularly GST medals) that I "inherited" from another collector. Great work and thanks for posting.

  11. #20

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    Here are a few additions from the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz der DDR [German Red Cross of the GDR]. The East German DRK was established in 1952. In 1954, the organization was officially recognized as a national Red Cross organization by the International Committe of the Red Cross (ICRC) and shortly thereafter taken into the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Following the German re-unification it was absorbed by the Red Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany.


    First, a generic stickpin for DRK personnel. The first [1952 model] version of this pin did not have the "DDR" at the bottom of the red border.

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    Here is the Treueabzeichen des DRK der DDR, which literally translates as "Badge of Faithfulness of the GRC of the GDR". This was a long service award instituted in 1971 and first awarded the following year on the occasion of the organization's 20th founding anniversary. It came in three grades: Bronze was for 10 years, silver for 20 years and gold for 30 years of active service.

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    The Leistungsabzeichen des DRK "Bereit zur medizinischen Sicherung der Landesverteidigung" [Proficiency Badge of the GRC "Ready for the Medical Safeguarding of National Defense"] - a name stylistically reminiscient of similiar Soviet badges - was instituted in 1967. It, too, came in bronze, silver and gold grades:


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