Remembered Today:

trajan

Medals of the Central Powers (formerly "An EK 2 and 'Hindenburg' Combatant's pair")

246 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted (edited)

While in Istanbul recently this item below and named in the thread title jumped out and caught my attention. And I thought 'Why not take it home?', as having some trios and pairs from 'our' side, it would be nice to have something from the 'other side' of no man's land - and not being a pointy thing it does not alarm SWMBO!. Seems to be genuine enough, and I thought I'd share it here, just to remind ourselves on GWF, what could have been seen proudly worn on relevant occasions by German chappies in the 1930's, just as - I gather - my granddad used to wear his BWM and BVM pair when going out to similar events over in GB... 

 

No need to go into details about the background of the WW1 EK II or the 'Hindenburg' cross, as most here will know that! Except that while I have not yet identified the EK maker ('SA'?), the 'Hindenburg' is an 'O.6' for - I gather - Orden-Herstellergemeinschaft , Pforzheim.

 

My understanding is - from talking to many over here - that medals such as these and in some cases the documents to go with them, and WW1 soldier's photographs also, came to Turkey along with the numbers of Germans of mainly Jewish descent who migrated in the 1930's but who had served in WW1, these men including the Assyriologist Benno Landsberger. Details on the topic are at e.g., http://www.covenant.idc.ac.il/en/vol3/issue1/turkeys_invitations_to_nazi-persecuted.html ; and at: file:///C:/Users/user/Desktop/4898_Oezg3_2010_S69-99_Tomenendal_Oezdemir_Mercan.pdf

 

Trajan

 

 

ek 2 and hind2.jpg

EK 2a.jpg

Edited by trajan
Re-title thread

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A nice pair. I've never seen an Ehrenkreuz with swords on the ribbon. I suspect it should be on the feldspange to denote a combatant cross and not on the suspension ribbon of the award.

Happy to be corrected. 

Dave

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10 hours ago, depaor01 said:

... I've never seen an Ehrenkreuz with swords on the ribbon. I suspect it should be on the feldspange to denote a combatant cross and not on the suspension ribbon of the award. ...

 

Yes, I thought that was rather odd but I have seen others around. I'll try searching some German sites later to see if they say anything on this matter. The one possibility that occurred to me was that the medals can be detached from the ribbon bar quite easily, and so it could be worn by itself instead of wearing the regular feldspange, in which case the crossed swords would be needed to denote the grade.

 

Julian

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ID: 4   Posted (edited)

The (Hindenburg Cross) Frontkampfer medaille with swords denote as you know a combatant, this medal (1935) 3rd Reich period, replaced all other private organization medals from the Weimar period. The sword device attached to its ribbon is from the kyffhauserbund medal ribbon to denote a combatant. These, the device and medal were available as private purchase whereas the Hindenburg Cross was on application and I imagine proof of eligibility They do not belong together as the medal denotes the status (swords)not the device. They may have been worn that way incorrectly, or found their way together in later years.

 

khaki

Center medal, sorry or the lack of quality of photo

0419172155.jpg

Edited by Khaki

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Thanks Khaki,

 

Yes, a highly irregular practice - unless it was meant to show previous membership of a kyffhäuserbund? Or, as I suggested, to wear the ribbons with the medals and so indicate frontkampfer status?

 

A quick look at German sites before going off to teaching brought up one possibile example of the crossed swords worn on the medal ribbon with the medal suspended. This is at: https://www.weltkriegs-ehrenkreuz.de/schriftstücke-fotos/trägerfotos/ and reproduced from there below for reference. No, not at all clear, but it looks to be something on the ribbon...

teaserbox_2455305950.jpg

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Well, a few minutes of a lunch-time on Google-de turned up two examples of an 'Ordensspange' (or is it a 'Ordens/Bandschnalle?) with the crossed swords on the ribbon holding the medal, one on a You Tube presentation of all places and one on the German equivalent of a certain on-line selling site, the former shown here for comparison purposes. Of course, no telling as to when - or by whom! - the crossed swords were added to the ribbons on either of these!

 

 

maxresdefault.jpg

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Definitely a new one on me. Very "belt and braces" to have swords on medal AND ribbon!

 

Dave

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Yes, its an irregular method of wearing a ribbon device, but we have to remember that they were private purchase from associations and there was no government body that controlled the wearing of veterans medals, I am sure that the Weimar Republic had no particular interest in them as they made no effort to establish an official universal medal.

 

The 'Frontkampfer Medaille' although issued in the name of President Hindenburg with award documents containing a facsimile of his signature, is really considered a medal of the Third Reich and is usually included as such in medal books.

 

Although with Hindenburg's death and AH assuming both roles the Hindenburg Cross officially replaced all other veterans medals of the GW excluding official awards such as the Pour le merite, the EK 1 & II, and the Gewunden Abzeichen (wound badge)which are of course decorations, there are probably others but those are the most prominent examples.

 

I don't believe that although the unofficial awards were precluded that they disappeared from wear completely and that the wearing of them was ignored. I do have an excellent photograph of a SA storm trooper in full uniform with dagger etc wearing the 'Hamburg Star' private veterans medal.

 

I am not very expert in unofficial German medals and specific details including production and membership details are not easily found, with examples such as Trajan's medal bearing a device rightly or wrongly is not unknown and I leave them as found. I also have an example of the unofficial German Marine Corps medal, its name escapes me for now but it has several battle bars Flandern etc that I believe belong more correctly on the Kyffhauserbund Medal.

 

In my opinion the devices/bars add interest to the medal and I am quite happy to include them in my collection.

 

khaki

 

 

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ID: 9   Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, depaor01 said:

Definitely a new one on me. Very "belt and braces" to have swords on medal AND ribbon!

:lol:

59 minutes ago, Khaki said:

Yes, its an irregular method of wearing a ribbon device, but we have to remember that they were private purchase from associations and there was no government body that controlled the wearing of veterans medals, I am sure that the Weimar Republic had no particular interest in them as they made no effort to establish an official universal medal. ...  I don't believe that although the unofficial awards were precluded that they disappeared from wear completely and that the wearing of them was ignored. I do have an excellent photograph of a SA storm trooper in full uniform with dagger etc wearing the 'Hamburg Star' private veterans medal. ... I am not very expert in unofficial German medals and specific details including production and membership details are not easily found, with examples such as Trajan's medal bearing a device rightly or wrongly is not unknown and I leave them as found. I also have an example of the unofficial German Marine Corps medal, its name escapes me for now but it has several battle bars Flandern etc that I believe belong more correctly on the Kyffhauserbund Medal. ...  In my opinion the devices/bars add interest to the medal and I am quite happy to include them in my collection.

 

A sagagcious and informative post as usual Khaki! I would agree that, basically, how a German veteran wore his 'entitlement' was up to him - as is evidenced, in a sense, by the incredible number of ways in which the medals are found attached to the ribbon bars, with all kinds, from straight suspension to flounces all over the place! I'll try GMC, GMIC though, to see if any of their members can add more (they have a lot of Central Powers' medal collectors on their books!).

 

As for the Das Flandernkreuz or Ehren- und Erinnerungskreuz des Marinekorps Flandern, yes, another unofficial medal, instituted in 1921. There is a Wiki site in German on this which looks to have reliable, i.e., quoted, book references, so should be 50% trustworthy - if not more! It is at: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flandernkreuz I have seen in passing when looking at Google.de images today examples of these and even kyffhauserbund medallions etc., attached alongside EK's and EhrenK., on medal bars, so, yes, irregularities seem to abound with veteran's groups!

 

By the way, I fully agree on leaving things as they are where no damage might occur to an artefact. I have a 1914 Star with its ribbon attached the wrong way, but the evidence of the creasing is that it has been that way a long time, so why change it?

 

Julian

Edited by trajan
Correction

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Speaking of such things - an example from my collection :w00t:

 

I'm also not removing the rose.

 

img016.jpg.9b2d37d217187f29d7074e308bfd06b6.jpg

 

Dave

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Two examples. the Kyffhauserbund medal, probably as meant to be worn and a veterans ribbon bar with the center ribbon of the Frontkampfer complete with 'swords'

khaki

0420170757.jpg

0420170800.jpg

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47 minutes ago, depaor01 said:

I'm also not removing the rose.

 

 

Quite agree, leave as is.

 

13 minutes ago, Khaki said:

Two examples. the Kyffhauserbund medal, probably as meant to be worn and a veterans ribbon bar with the center ribbon of the Frontkampfer complete with 'swords'

 

Nice Kyffhauserbund - and that ribbon bar has a a Prussian Centenary ribbon doesn't it? If so, an old-timer by 1914!

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Thank you Julian, yes the yellow ribbon belongs to the Prussian Kaiser Wilhelm Ist centenary medal, the other as you are aware is the EK2 (1914) as the 1870 EK would have made him too old to be a GW combatant.

khaki

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Some examples for general interest, the first is not a bar group, I just pushed them together to get them on my cel phone frame, the 2nd image is the Hamburg veterans medal (star) it shows in the center a helmeted 'soldat' trudging home following the armistice. A handsome medal, but unusual as a veterans medal being a breast star.

 

khaki

0420170852.jpg

0420170858.jpg

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ID: 15   Posted (edited)

Obverse and reverse of one of my favourites which I believe is a Prussian veterans organization service award for service to the veterans organisation0211161105.jpg.4f2ccd9871f17eab131765dd4e4d50cf.jpg

0211161103.jpg

Edited by Khaki

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On ‎4‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 16:23, Khaki said:

Two examples. the Kyffhauserbund medal, probably as meant to be worn and a veterans ribbon bar with the center ribbon of the Frontkampfer complete with 'swords'

khaki

0420170757.jpg

0420170800.jpg

 

That's a beauty. I want one!!

 

Dave

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On ‎4‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 17:16, Khaki said:

Some examples for general interest, the first is not a bar group, I just pushed them together to get them on my cel phone frame, the 2nd image is the Hamburg veterans medal (star) it shows in the center a helmeted 'soldat' trudging home following the armistice. A handsome medal, but unusual as a veterans medal being a breast star.

 

khaki

0420170852.jpg

0420170858.jpg

 

Award document for the Hamburg Cross.

001 (2).jpg

002.jpg

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Thanks Dave,

Enjoyed seeing the Hamburg Cross document,

 

khaki

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No problem!

 

Silesian Eagle Second Class. One of my favourite Weird Weimars.

 

Must invest in a First Class one.

 

sch.jpg

...1919 so technically WWI :o

 

Dave

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ID: 20   Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Khaki said:

Obverse and reverse of one of my favourites which I believe is a Prussian veterans organization service award for service to the veterans organisation0211161105.jpg.4f2ccd9871f17eab131765dd4e4d50cf.jpg

0211161103.jpg

 

The "Tower" is, unless I am completely mistaken, is the Kyffhäuserdenkmal to Kaiser Wilhelm.

http://www.burgen-und-schloesser.net/thueringen/kyffhaeuser-denkmal/

Edited by charlie2
Link didn't work

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11 hours ago, depaor01 said:

Silesian Eagle Second Class. One of my favourite Weird Weimars. ...1919 so technically WWI :o

 

Certainly a weird one that - don't think I would have worn it! But, on the matter of date, as these veterans things (including the 'Hindenburg' medals) are all WW1-related, then surely there should be no doubt as to their place on GWF? After all, discussion of the Old Contemptibles Association, founded in 1925, is to be found here! 

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4 hours ago, trajan said:

 

Certainly a weird one that - don't think I would have worn it! But, on the matter of date, as these veterans things (including the 'Hindenburg' medals) are all WW1-related, then surely there should be no doubt as to their place on GWF? After all, discussion of the Old Contemptibles Association, founded in 1925, is to be found here! 

 

I know nothing about German awards, so have been following this with interest - and learning!

 

Absolutely right Julian, presumably we shouldn't be talking about BWM's either, as they were not instituted until the middle of 1919 by which time, as we say up here, it was all over bar the shouting.

 

Regards,

Mike

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4 hours ago, trajan said:

 

Certainly a weird one that - don't think I would have worn it! But, on the matter of date, as these veterans things (including the 'Hindenburg' medals) are all WW1-related, then surely there should be no doubt as to their place on GWF? After all, discussion of the Old Contemptibles Association, founded in 1925, is to be found here! 

100% agree. I was perhaps a bit over-defensive!

 

Dave

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On ‎4‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 12:19, charlie2 said:

 

The "Tower" is, unless I am completely mistaken, is the Kyffhäuserdenkmal to Kaiser Wilhelm.

http://www.burgen-und-schloesser.net/thueringen/kyffhaeuser-denkmal/

I believe the site of the monument was formerly the location of a Baronial Castle but has an associated legend relating to Emperor Barbarossa, Frederick the 1st (sleeping beneath the mountain ready to awake and save his kingdom etc) indeed there is a large statue of Barbarossa awakening, however I believe that the monument itself was dedicated to Emperor Wilhelm the 1st.(Hohenzollern)

khaki

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On 4/19/2017 at 12:14, trajan said:

 

 

ek 2 and hind2.jpg

 

Trajan;

 

This group is very much like my father's, presently about six feet from me, with the exception of the crossed swords. Not much into medals. I also have his black wound badge, although he was wounded four times. (As you probably know, the way some wounds were accepted for inclusion in your "count", and others not accepted, was somewhat arbitrary. My father was shot by a French officer whose life he tried to save on a pre-dawn raid at Verdun, with a pocket pistol at a distance of about 5 cm, and that didn't make the cut.)

 

However, a couple of points. My father got his EK II in 1921, from the Ministry of War. At one point, he and others shot their company commander dead

(very well deserved), and although the incident was very well investigated, the men were not punished, but my father got no medal during the war,

except for his wound badge, which I also have (they could hardly have  denied him that), and he never was promoted from Pionier (or pioneer private), although he later commanded a squad (Flamm=Trupp), and by rights he should have been a entry-level NCO. (I know that that tolerance is hard to

believe by someone who only studies the UK Army in the Great War.) In 1921, with the knowledge of the little "training accident" lost in the past, my

father's record of fighting at Gallipoli, as a volunteer, contracting malaria; and then fighting on the West Front in the flame regiment of the Prussian Guard,

wounded four times; and then quickly volunteering, within weeks of being demobbed, for fighting in Berlin in a Freikorps with the Flammenwerfer; and

then service in the Schwartze Reichswehr including some low-grade combat against rural communists, made a good case that by the normal (low) criteria,

he certainly made the very low bar for the EK II. (Some Austrian wag once said that the only way a Front=Kampfer could avoid the EK II was death.) 

 

Also, he got his Hindenburg Cross about nine years after moving to the US. Perhaps by applying to the German Consulate in New York City. He

was active in the Stalhelm in NYC, and he said that when the Nazis took over, the local chapter in NYC disbanded rather than be taken over by that 

crowd; they were well to the right of that bunch.

 

Again I ramble a bit OT, but I think that I have insights that are not available to all of us at this remove from 1914-1918. My father had a great memory, collected lots of Great War documents and letters, and talked about the war a great deal, often saying that it was the best time of his life. And after

16 years of study his oral history seems strongly consistent with the truth, to my surprise. I am finally starting to write it down.

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