Maker: Paul Meybauer
Product Description: This is an outstanding example of the Mothers Cross in Gold, the highest grade of this award. The medal is in excellent condition and very attractive. The original gilding is very close to 100 percent intact, is still bright, and contrasts beautifully with the flawless original enamel. There are no chips or cracks, no damage of any kind. The medal is complete with its original full length neck ribbon. The award and ribbon are housed in their original case of issue, which is of course the correct case for this badge. The exterior of the case bears an embossed representation of the Mothers Cross, in gold leaf. The case shows some wear from handling and decades of storage. The corners are worn, and there are some minor abrasions to the artificial leather, but the case remains complete and intact, with a functional metal hinge and push-button closure. Inside the case, the award rests on a cream-colored flocked insert. The lid is lined with silk, which bears the manufacturer stamp “Paul Meybauer, Berlin S.W. 68.” This cased Mothers Cross in Gold is impressive, and displays great.
Historical Description: The Nazi plans for the expansion of the German Reich required a robust and growing German population. To encourage this, the Nazis created a number of propaganda campaigns to encourage families to have more children. Beginning in 1934, Mother’s Day became an official holiday in Germany. In 1938, with preparations for war underway, Hitler created a special civil award for mothers in German families. The official name for this award was “Ehrenkreuz der deutschen Mutter” (Honor Cross of the German Mother” but it was often more simply referred to as the “Mutterkreuz,” or Mothers Cross. The design of the cross was created by Franz Berberich, and it was made in three classes. To earn the lowest grade, in bronze, a mother had to have four children. Mothers of at least six children were awarded the silver grade, and the highest level, in gold, was awarded to mothers of eight or more children. The awards themselves were never maker marked. The bronze and silver grades were awarded in simple paper packets, while to gold award came in a presentation case. The back of the very first Mothers Crosses, made in 1938 or early 1939, was inscribed “Das Kind adelt die Mutter” (The child ennobles the mother) and bore a facsimile signature of Adolf Hitler. Later versions featured a slightly different signature, and instead of a motto, were dated “16. Dezember 1938,” the date the award was instituted. The first awards of the Mothers Cross took place on Mother’s Day in May, 1939. The cross was worn on a neck ribbon, and a miniature version was also available. They were awarded until 1945.
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