SEE BELOW FOR DESCRIPTION
H021276 EASTERN PEOPLES DECORATION 2ND CLASS IN GOLD WITHOUT SWORDS.(Tapferkeits-und Verdienst-Auszeichnung für Angehörige der Ostvölker in Gold ohne Schwertern)
BACKGROUND: Officially designated, Bravery and Merit Decoration for the Eastern People, this series of awards was instituted on July 14TH 1942 to recognize the contribution of volunteers from the Eastern European countries to Germany’s war effort. The awards were introduced in two classes with five grades and were awarded with swords for bravery in combat, or without swords for outstanding service to the war effort. The awards were rendered in a first class in gold and silver and a second class in gold, silver and bronze and all could be issued with or without swords. The first class awards were the pin back type while the second class awards were suspended from a ribbon. In October of 1942 bestowal of the first or second class silver award was extended to German nationals serving with "Osttruppen", (Eastern Troops), providing they already held the Iron Cross first or second class. Besides the coloration of the actual award the 2ND class awards were further distinguished from each other by different colored ribbons with a green ribbon with red stripes for the gold grade, a green ribbon with white stripes for the silver grade and a solid green ribbon for the bronze grade. Of Note: Due to the fact that these awards were introduced relatively late in the war and were usually struck in zinc, many have the wash worn completely away with only the ribbon colors being the indicator of grade.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Die struck, zinc alloy construction award with a gilt wash is in the form of a thirty-two point sunburst star pattern with a central, embossed, circular laurel leaf wreath encompassing a six petal flower. The reverse has the typical, circular, depression to the center as found on these awards. The top center of the award has an integral, extended, vertical, arm with a looped ring to secure the ribbon suspension ring. The ribbon suspension ring is intact and comes complete with an original piece of horizontally ribbed, green, rayon ribbon with a vertical, red stripe near each outside edge. The ribbon has a brass pin back device handstitched to the reverse top edge. Some of the stitching to the pin back device is loose and the device does not sit flush to the ribbon. The award has no visible manufacturer’s markings although from marked examples we have encountered it appears that Rudolf Wächtler & Lange of Mittweida i.Sa , (Numerical code 100), was the primary manufacturer of these awards. The medal retains almost none of its original gold wash.
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