Original German WWII Austrian Anschluss Medal in Presentation Case - March 1938
Original Items: Only One available. The Anschluss Commemorative Medal (German: Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13. März 1938) was a decoration of Nazi Germany awarded in the interwar period.
This example is a circular silvered bronze medal; on suspension loop from its well preserved period original Austrian style ribbon featuring a horizontal pinback; the the obverse with two raised male figures, the one on the right bearing the German flag in his left hand, with his right hand placed around the shoulders of the figure on the left, with broken chains around his right arm with the German eagle directly below; the reverse with the date 13. März, 1938 centrally and circumscribed Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer (One People, One Country, One Leader).
Accompanied by its case of issue, constructed of heavy pressed paper, with a red faux leather (leatherette) exterior, the exterior embossed with a golden national eagle clutching a mobile swastika, with a lined interior lid and a recessed medal bed, a functional spring catch with stud release, with a fully intact fabric hinge cover, functional exterior hinge. Offered in very good condition.
Instituted on May 1, 1938, the medal commemorated the annexation of Austria to the German Reich, the so-called Anschluss. The move was the first in Hitler's quest for Lebensraum, and it strengthened German flanks while weakening those of Czechoslovakia. German troops crossed the border on March 12, 1938, without meeting any resistance. The stage had been set by a series of "incidents" provoked by members of the Nazi Party in Austria, and diplomatic pressure and ultimatums set forth by the German government. This first action, while perhaps raising suspicions, did not cause general alarm in the world community, as it seemed to be done by choice of the Austrian people who spoke German.
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 National Socialism movement. It was also awarded to German State officials and members of the German Wehrmacht and SS who marched into Austria.
It was awarded until December 13, 1940. In all 318,689 medals were awarded.
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