BACKGROUND: One of the numerous pro-Nazi political organizations to be formed in Holland prior to WWII was the NSB, Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging (National-Socialist Movement), founded by Anton Mussert in December 1931. Although never overly successful in Dutch elections the NSB was still in existence after the German invasion in May 1940. Mussert and the NSBís willingness to collaborate with the Germans resulted in it being acknowledged as the only legal political party in Holland in December 1941. In July 1941 Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the German Reichskommissar of Holland, announced the formation of the Freiwilligen Legion Niederlande, (Volunteer Legion Netherlands), under control of the NSB. This Dutch Legion, outfitted in Waffen-SS uniforms, was sent to the Russian front by Leningrad in January 1942 and served there until April 1943. In the spring of 1942 Mussert instituted the Mussert Cross to recognize the achievements of the Legions personnel on the eastern front. Of Note: Allegedly Hitler forbade bestowal of this award as Mussert didn't consult him before instituting it, and the Dutch Volunteers were eligible for German awards and decorations.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Multi-piece, die struck alloy construction award with a fire gilt finish and multi-colored enamel work. The award is in the form of a Maltese style cross with circular centerpieces to both obverse and reverse and fire gilt crossed swords emanating between the crosses arms. The crosses arms have translucent red enamel work above a textured field and solid black enamel outer border stripes. Obverse circular centerpiece features a creamy white enamel field with a golden vertical wolfsangle superimposed over a canted swastika above an oak-leaf cluster. Reverse circular centerpiece also features a creamy white enamel field with golden script to center, "Mussert 1941", encompassed by an oak-leaf cluster to bottom and additional script to top, "Hou en Trou", (Steady and True), the NSB motto. The medal ring, ribbon suspension loop and ribbed rayon ribbon in the Dutch national colors of sky blue, white and orange are all intact. The reverse of the ribbon has a fire gilt alloy pin back device stitched in place. Original ribbon bar with crossed swords is included. Original award box is also included. Box is in excellent condition with only small separations on the hinge end of the top flap. Nice example!

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $595.00

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