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Krzyż Oświęcimski - Auschwitz cross

Article about: Can anyone tell me about this medal? Many thanks

  1. #1
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    Default Krzyż Oświęcimski - Auschwitz cross

    Can anyone tell me about this medal?

    Many thanks
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Krzyż Oświęcimski - Auschwitz cross

    Hello quotd,

    This cross was awarded primarily to Polish prisoners of German concentration camps, although apparently some non-Poles have also been awarded this decoration. Originating in 1985 it was awarded both to living survivors and also posthumously.

    There are two versions of the cross. Those issued during the Soviet occupation era are marked PRL (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa = Peoples Republic of Poland). Ones awarded post 1989 are marked RP (Rzeczpospolita Polska = Republic of Poland).

    Believe it or not, there are copies of this cross on the market being passed off as genuine. The copies are most easily distinguished by observing the ribbon ring, although there are other telltale characteristics to watch for. Your cross is a genuine example as evidenced by the ribbon ring with its fine details. Copies have plain rings with no detailing at all. I will try to post a side by side comparison later.

    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Krzyż Oświęcimski - Auschwitz cross

    G'dayTony,

    Thankyou for your reply,

    It is certainly a unique award, and one I have never seen before. I found here through a dealer here in Australia. My grandfather was in the Polish Army and captured in the first days of the war, thouh he was never in a KL. I mainly collect German items, as I had relatives in the German Army in WW2 as well, but Polish awards interest me, especially unique items such as this.

    It is a a quite striking and also sobering award, I notice the ribbon bar is the same colours of a KL uniform, which now makes more sense following your reply. Whilst I do not collect items connected with the KL side of things, as I feel there is chance of allowing people to profit from such a tragic part of history, I found this item, as it was Polish and unusual quite intriguing. I will certainly respect this award and display it in an appropriate manner.

    Thanking you for your time,

    Tolek

  4. #4

    Default Re: Krzyż Oświęcimski - Auschwitz cross

    Hello Tolek,

    You're most welcome. As promised, here's the side by side comparison of a genuine vs reproduction cross.

    Regards,
    Tony
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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Krzyż Oświęcimski - Auschwitz cross

    Thankyou Tony for the great pics, it proves that it is the small details that can help distinguish fake from real. I saw two of these on ebay yesterday being sold as original, but without the detail on the ring!

    Thanks again for your help and time, it has really made me appreciate the item a whole lot more now that I know what it represents...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Krzyż Oświęcimski - Auschwitz cross

    Once again Tolek, you are most welcome!

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

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