Product Description: This Baltic Cross is a very attractive example of this desirable Freikorps award. It is in overall excellent condition, with no damage. Both the gilt cross and the dark oxidized backing retain nearly all of the original finish, with only extremely minor wear and age toning. On the reverse of this Baltic Cross, the prongs that affix the gilt cross to its backing are visible. There is also a stamped manufacturer marking indicating this piece was made by P. Meybauer. The textbook rear hardware setup is intact and functional, and features a barrel hinge with a round wire pin and catch. The Baltic Cross is a scarce interwar award that many collectors regard as underappreciated. This is a really nice one that would be beautiful displayed as part of an award collection, or on a uniform.
Historical Description: The Baltic Cross (Baltenkreuz) was a military decoration awarded by Germany during the Weimar Republic. It was instituted by the Baltic National Committee, an organization that represented the German ethnic population of parts of what is now Latvia, in 1919. The award took the form of a black oxidized metal cross, on which was superimposed a gilt cross based on the coat of arms of the Teutonic Knights. It was a pin back award, intended to be worn on the left chest pocket of the uniform. There was also a ribbon for this award that could be worn in the buttonhole, with the blue and white colors of the Baltic Landwehr. Some Baltic Crosses were made with a suspension ring and were intended to be worn as part of the large formal ribbon bar. These are not Second Class awards; there was only one class of this award. The Baltic Cross was awarded to all officers and men of the Freikorps or other volunteer paramilitary organizations that fought against the Bolshevik Army in the Baltic region for at least 3 months between 1918-1919. It was issued along with a numbered award certificate from the Baltic National Committee. I 1934 and 1935, the Nazi government instituted laws stating that the Baltic Cross was a state recognized decoration that was allowed to be worn on the uniform. 1957 laws also permitted this award to be worn.
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