Original German WWII Eastern People's Medal Award Set - Gold 1st Class & Silver 2nd Class
Original Items: Only One Set Available. This is a very nice set of two examples of the "Medal for Gallantry and Merit for Members of the Eastern Peoples" (Tapferkeits und Verdienstauszeichnung für Ostvölker). This was a military and paramilitary award of Germany. Established on 14 July 1942, it was bestowed on personnel from the former Soviet Union (Ostvolk or "Eastern people"), who volunteered to fight alongside German forces. The Medal is sometimes called the Ostvolk Medal or Eastern People's Medal, (Ostvolkmedaille).
This set consists of the following:
- One Eastern People's Medal 1st Class (Ostvolkmedaille I. Klasse) in gold with swords (for combat). This has a very nice brass pin back, and has lost much of the original bronze wash, however close inspection shows that it is indeed the gold version.
- One Eastern People's Medal 2nd Class (Ostvolkmedaille II. Klasse) in silver, with the correct green ribbon with white stripes. This is the version without swords, for merit in areas other than combat. Some of the silver wash is still present in areas.
A very nice set of some hard to find medals, ready to display!
More on the Eastern People's Medal:
The Ostvolk medal features an octagonal (eight pointed) star with a plant pattern in the center. There were two classes:
1st class - 50 mm in diameter, attached to the left uniform pocket by a pin and clasp. It could be awarded in gold or silver.
2nd class - 40 mm in diameter worn on a 32 mm wide ribbon from the left chest. It could be awarded in gold, silver or bronze, each having a separate ribbon design:
- gold: green with a red stripe towards each edge;
- silver: green with a white stripe towards each edge;
- bronze: plain green.
Each version of both classes could be awarded either with swords for bravery or without swords for merit.
The 1st class was only awarded to those who had already received the 2nd class although, exceptionally, the two classes could be awarded together. Women, for example nurses, were also eligible for the medal.
From November 1942, German officers and NCOs serving with Ostvolk units were eligible for the 1st class and 2nd class in silver with swords, provided they held the corresponding class of the Iron Cross. In February 1944, German personnel became eligible for the 1st class and 2nd class without swords where they held the corresponding class of the War Merit Cross with swords.
Wear of German awards was banned in 1945. In 1957 the Eastern People's Medal was among the World War II decorations re-authorised for wear by the Federal Republic of Germany. While many awards were re-designed to remove the swas (hook cross), the original Eastern People's Medal could be worn unaltered as it did not bear this symbol.
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