About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

M is for Memorabilia, Militaria and Medals

I was lucky enough to be shown this the other day, and took the opportunity to take a photograph of it to share with a wider audience. Thanks to Peter for letting me shoot it. It originated in a factory in Germany at the end of the last war (counting down to the next one - thanks for that Putin...you're so gay!), and was 'liberated' or shall we say 'confiscated' as illegal Nazi regalia in - the then newly de-Nazified - Germany!

The card is original and I understand that each member of the unit in question took one as a memento, these cards were used in shop-windows as propaganda as much as anything else, and although it's been renumbered by a British hand, you can see the original German 1's with their long heads or serifs.

From the top left to the bottom right moving down then across they are;

1 - RAD [Reichsarbeitsdienst] Medal, awarded for four years service in the Labour Organisation, the reverse reads "Fur Treue Dienste in Reichs Arbeits Dienst"...for loyal service in the German labour service.

2 - NSKK [Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps] Motor Vehicle Drivers Badge, this would have been worn by servicemen as well as NSKK personnel as lots of military personnel had been taught to drive by the NSKK.

3 - Mother's Cross - Miniature, this was awarded each August 12th (the birthday of Hitler’s mother), with gold crosses (illustrated) being awarded for those women who had given birth to 8 [good Aryan] children, silver for 6 and bronze for 4. As a miniature it would have been worn as a broach.

4 - War Merit Cross, 1st class with swords, this was a military award for action deserving of award, but not for bravery (which would deserve an Iron Cross).

5 - Austrian Medal, awarded on entry into Austria (from Wikipedia; The medal, known as the "Anschluss medal", was awarded to all those Austrians who contributed to or participated in the annexation as well as the members of the Austrian NSDAP [Nazi Party]. It was also awarded to German State officials and members of the German Wehrmacht and SS who marched into Austria).

6 - War Merit Cross, 2nd Class with swords (see 4 for note).

7 - German Red Cross 'Social Welfare' Medal.

8 - Clasp or 'Bar' to the Iron Cross 2nd Class, this is the 'Prizen' size which is both smaller and rarer than the usual clasp and would have been worn with a WWI Iron Cross medal ribbon, below and coming from a tunic button.

9 - Iron Cross 2nd Class.

10 - Wound Badge 3rd class.

11 - War Merit Cross 1st class without swords, awarded sans-swords for civilian or rear-echelon acts.

12 - Narvik Shield [Narvikschild], awarded for service in the Norway campaign in 1940.

13 - West Wall Medal, the obverse reads "Für Arbeit zum Schutze Deutschlands" (For work for the protection (or defence) of Germany) and it was awarded for work on the Siegfried Line in 1939/40.

14 - Crimean Shield [Krimschild], awarded to troops under the command of Erich von Manstein who captured the Crimea region, very common medal, with over 250,000 issued.

15 - War Merit Medal, the lowest award in the series that includes 11, 6 and 4 above. The medal replaced the second class - without swords - awards as so many were being issued and would go to someone like a factory worker who exceeded production targets or something like that.

The cut down the middle of the card presumably has more to do with the dimensions of  a British large-pack circa 1945, than anything in the factory which made these, the location/identity of which is unknown. I told Peter the Mothers Cross was probably for losing a child in the war...how wrong could I have been!

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