Original German Weimar Republic Silesian Uprisings Freikorps Oberland Silesian Eagle First Class Award

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fantastic example of a rather scarce award, the Schlesischer Adler (Silesian Eagle), offered in wonderful condition. The Silesian Eagle was a medal awarded to members of the German right-wing paramilitary group Freikorps Oberland for three or six months of service, as well as for fighting during the Silesian Uprisings during the Weimar Republic.

Instituted on the 19 of June 1919 by VI. Armee-Korps Generalleutnant Friedrich von Friedeburg, the award was given in two classes, 2nd class for three months of service and 1st class for 6 months of service. Following the Freikorps' participation at the Battle of Annaberg, it was also awarded with oak leaves, swords, or both. This medal was one of the few Freikorps awards that were allowed to be worn on uniforms after the Wehrmacht banned unofficial medals in 1935. However, the swords and oak leaves were banned, but despite interdictions, many veterans continued wearing them in active military service in NSDAP Germany.

This 1st Class award features a lovely pin arm and catch on the reverse. The front of the award features a large, black Reichsadler, a symbol of Germany since the Holy Roman Empire. Adorned along the tail of the eagle are the words FÜR SCHLESIEN, meaning “For Silesia”. Along the top is a half crescent with a cross. All of the enamel has been retained very well, but nearly all of the finish on the front and reverse are worn.

A lovely example ready for further research and display.

The Silesian Uprisings were a series of three uprisings from August 1919 to July 1921 in Upper Silesia, which was part of the Weimar Republic at the time. Ethnic Polish and Polish-Silesian insurrectionists, seeking to have the area transferred to the newly founded Polish Republic, fought German police and paramilitary forces which sought to keep the area part of the new German state founded after World War I. Following the conflict, the area was divided between the two countries. The rebellions have subsequently been commemorated in modern Poland as an example of Polish nationalism.

Much of Silesia had belonged to the Crown of Polish Kingdom in medieval times, but it passed to the Kings of Bohemia in the 14th century and, following this, to the Austrian Habsburgs. Frederick the Great of Prussia seized Silesia from Maria Theresa of Austria in 1742 in the War of Austrian Succession, after which it became a part of Prussia and subsequently, in 1871, the German Empire. Although the province of Silesia overall had by then become overwhelmingly German-speaking (mainly Lower Silesia), but Poles constituted a majority in Upper Silesia.

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