Become our sponsor and display your banner here
Page 1 of 10 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 94

The Cross and Medal of Independence

Article about: Here is a complete ‘award package’ issued to a recipient of the Medal of Independence. It consists of the following components: 1) the decoration – full size and miniature 2) the presentatio

  1. #1

    Default The Cross and Medal of Independence

    (moved from “Re: Polish pre-war/exile medals/cross`s thread!”) . . .

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Cross of Independence (Krzyż Niepodległości) was one of the highest Polish military decorations between World Wars I and II. It was awarded to individuals who had "fought heroically for the independence of Poland," and was released in three versions.

    (From Wikipedia)

    History

    The Cross of Independence was established with a decree of the President of Poland of October 29, 1930. It was to be awarded to the people who laid foundations for the independence of the Fatherland before the World War or during it, as well as during the fights between 1818 and 1921, with the exception of the Polish-Russian War. After 1938 it was also awarded to people responsible for the reunification of Zaolzie with Poland.

    Although the cross without the swords was awarded mainly to the civilians, all versions were considered to be military decorations. If awarded to a soldier it was worn before the 4th class of the Polonia Restituta and when awarded to a civilian - before the Volunteer Medal for the War (Medal Ochotniczy za Wojnę).

    The recipients of all grades of the Cross of Independence had a right to be elected to the Senate of the Republic of Poland, the right to travel by Polish State Railways free of charge and a right to send their children to the schools of their choice free of charge.

    Design

    Both the Cross and the Medal were designed by professor Mieczysław Kotarbiński and most of the copies were made by Warsaw-based jeweller Wiktor Gontarczyk.

    The Cross of Independence had three classes:

    - Cross of Independence with Swords (1818 awarded by 1938)
    - Cross of Independence (7917 awarded by 1938)
    - Medal of Independence (51735 awarded altogether)

    The cross was 42 by 42 mm, made of gilt bronze. The obverse had a rectangle shield with stylised eagle in bas-relief. The reverse was covered with black enamel and the motto Bojownikom Niepodległości (To the Fighters for Independence). The version with Swords had two golden swords crossed above the cross.

    Medal of Independence

    Medal of Independence was round, 35 mm in diameter and made entirely of bronze. On the obverse there was a symbolic depiction of three Hydras (symbolising three partitioning Powers) stroke with two swords and surrounded by the Bojownikom Niepodległości motto. The reverse was plain with letters RP in the centre (standing for Rzeczpospolita Polska).

    Regards,
    T
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KN 123.jpg 
Views:	611 
Size:	60.0 KB 
ID:	65638  

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Cross and Medal of Independence

    Quote by 3mk View Post
    Thanks Tony,
    The Cross of independence with swords is really rare,Now you cant seem to find them any where even on Allegro!I was bidding on a Cross of Independence without swords but I was outbid because I was at school
    . . . .
    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Yes, genuine swords versions are rare. After all, there was just over 1800 issued, and a good portion have not survived. I am very fortunate to have found this one on its original issue ribbon. It’s a shame that there were no accompanying documents, but one can’t have everything!

    You can safely say that all recipients of the Cross of Independence with Swords were either on NKVD or Gestapo lists for liquidation. And sadly many were indeed murdered as perceived threats to the invading powers in 1939. It’s difficult to fully grasp the horror that must have swept the nation in 1939 as these tragic events were unfolding. This is what should make these decorations all that much more special to us collectors.

    Regards,

    T.
    Quote by 3mk View Post
    My Grandma (Who was a nurse in the resistance) told me when she saw her Father dressing up for a parade she seen a medal with swords on the top so I think my Great Grandfather was a recipient of the Cross of Independence with swords! . . .
    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    My grandfather Jan Zawadzki also fought in the Russo-Japanese war.

    Over to the Cross of Independence with Swords – the list of recipients still exists. Let me know his full name and I will verify if he is indeed a recipient. As with all Polish state decorations and regimental badges, they were not handed out carelessly. Strict conditions needed to first be met. And as you can imagine, with only just over 1800 awards the awarding of the Cross of Independence with Swords was reserved for very special cases.

    T.
    Quote by 3mk View Post
    Sorry but Ive made a mistake Wojciech Klos fought in the Legions in World War 1 and fought in the Polish-Soviet war where he earned the Virtuti Militari.The one that fought in the Russo Japanese War, World War 1 and the Polish soviet war was Franciszek Harasim

    Sorry

    P.s where did you find this recipients list?

    Thanks
    The list I have is from the Puchalski / Wawrzynski reference book on this decoration.

    Unfortunately neither Wojciech Klos nor Franciszek Harasim are named on the list of recipients of the Cross with Swords.

    Regards,
    Tony

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Cross and Medal of Independence

    Quote by robert odulinski View Post
    Could you describe how can one tell if the item is genine? what are the characteristic things to look out for ?
    The classic answer to this question is to get familiar with the genuine article so that the counterfeits will become apparent when they crop up. Of course, easier said than done when one doesn’t have an authentic one on hand to study. Nonetheless, the same old advice applies – buy from a trustworthy source, ask for knowledgeable opinions (i.e. post pictures on this site!), look for the correct patina and wear commensurate with the age of the item, etc etc.

    Quote by robert odulinski View Post
    i also wanted to ask about the corresponding documentation. i have ones for the cross and medal but im unsure if the document for the MI with crosses is the same.
    Yes, the documents were in the same format, although they noted the grade of the decoration, and also pictured the cross with swords. Later I will post pictures of the various award documents (at the moment the forum is not allowing me to attach them to this message for some reason).

    Quote by robert odulinski View Post
    Similarly did all medals come with a miniature?
    Good question. It was up to the recipient if he wanted to buy a miniature. The notification of your award arrived for free, but if you wanted the goodies you had to buy them! This practice was not unusual in pre-war Poland. I will post additional information on this topic later . . . stay tuned

    Quote by robert odulinski View Post
    I have often wondered what has happended to the hanging dumbells the original ones that is not many on the market.
    The old “dumbbells” method (I never thought of them in this way!) was adopted by the Poles from the French. These “belki”, “szpilki”, “zawieszenie” pins are seen on the market occasionally. But generally a scarce item as in Poland these were phased out of use starting in the late twenties with the advent of the new “hook and eye” ribbons that were suspended from a cord threaded though the uniform. It’s worth noting that as the Cross and Medal of Independence was issued after the new regulations were put in place, so technically these would not be a correct way of suspending the decoration.

    Regards,
    Tony

  4. #4
    3mk
    3mk is offline
    ?

    Default Re: The Cross and Medal of Independence

    Thanks for checking Tony I really appreciat it

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Cross and Medal of Independence

    [QUOTE=A.J. Zawadzki;93994]The classic answer to this question is to get familiar with the genuine article so that the counterfeits will become apparent when they crop up. Of course, easier said than done when one doesn’t have an authentic one on hand to study. Nonetheless, the same old advice applies – buy from a trustworthy source, ask for knowledgeable opinions (i.e. post pictures on this site!), look for the correct patina and wear commensurate with the age of the item, etc etc.

    thank you Tony, could you lend me yours to get familiar with please.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Cross and Medal of Independence

    Time to revisit this thread as there is plenty of ground yet to cover.

    The matter of obtaining the actual decorations was briefly touched on earlier. As mentioned, it was the responsibility of the recipient of the award to purchase the ‘decoration package’ themselves.

    Attached below is a letter issued by the Committee of the Cross and Medal of Independence to the widow of a major who was awarded the cross of independence in 1931. The 1937 dated letter requests that the sum of 19zl be paid into the committees account in order to purchase the decoration and award diploma. There is also a request to complete an attached questionnaire and mail it back to the committee’s office in Warsaw.

    I will scan one of these questionnaires along with some other related documents in subsequent posts. Pictures of a standard ‘decoration package’ will also be posted. Stay tuned . . .

    Regards,
    Tony
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	837402452.jpg 
Views:	170 
Size:	74.8 KB 
ID:	68874  

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Cross and Medal of Independence

    Here’s a fascinating little ad run by Cross of Independence maker Stanisław Zydalewicz. It appears that he only produced the crosses. Zygadlewicz crosses are identified by the eagle in the center of the obverse face being stamped in relief rather than recessed into the cross. These crosses are quite rare.

    Recipients of the Cross with or without swords and medals had the option of purchasing their crosses from whatever maker they wished and did not need to purchase them from the Committee, which to my understanding offered National Mint and Gontarczyk produced decorations. This ad also caters to those looking for ‘replacement copies’ of the decoration so that the official issues could be safely stored away. As we know, replacement issues were offered for all of the higher state decorations and these are now also very much sought after by collectors.

    As the possession of state decorations was illegal for anyone who was not awarded them it’s certain that some proof would have been required that one was entitled to purchase a copy. So it probably wasn’t too easy to just add 1zł more and pick up a cross with swords!

    Regards,
    T.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ind ad 004.jpg 
Views:	199 
Size:	163.3 KB 
ID:	69264  

  8. #8
    3mk
    3mk is offline
    ?

    Default Re: The Cross and Medal of Independence

    If only those were the prices today...

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Cross and Medal of Independence

    It is so interesting add from before WWII, and there are people who are looking at it, and talking about it. I wish I could buy one of each lol.
    Mariusz

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Cross and Medal of Independence

    Hello all, I just started looking into this award as I have one that was handed down to me from my father. It is in very good condition. It is a cross with swords, but without the barbell. I am interested in researching the list of recipients to find my grandfather's name. I can't seem to get anything from the Puchalski/Wawrzynski Reference as was previously mentioned in an earlier post.
    Does anyone know where I might find a list of recipients?

Page 1 of 10 12345 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Cross of Valour (Krzyż Walecznych) – Pre-WW2 Types

    In Polish Armed Forces - Second Republic (Siły Zbrojne II Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej) 1918-1939
    10-09-2017, 03:17 PM
  2. Battle damaged Road sign route to a Knights Cross.

    In Battlefield history and relics
    11-05-2013, 02:41 AM
  3. Polish pre-war/exile medals/cross`s thread!

    In Polish Armed Forces - Second Republic (Siły Zbrojne II Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej) 1918-1939
    02-28-2011, 03:12 AM
  4. WORLD WAR 2 german war merit cross with swords medal

    In Orders & Decorations of the Third Reich
    11-11-2009, 05:12 AM
  5. Unkown Medal-German WW1 Medal Bar

    In Imperial Germany and Austro-Hungary
    04-22-2009, 05:43 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •