Condition: Very Good
Product Description: This is a beautiful example of a nice early Luftschutz medal 2nd class, in its original case of issue. The medal is an early issue example, made of aluminum (later ones were zinc). It’s a crisp strike with sharp detail and shows only extremely minor age toning. The reverse of the Luftschutz Medal is dated 1938, the year this award was instituted. The ribbon on this one is pristine and complete with its original pin. The box is labeled with the official name for the 2nd class Luftschutz medal (“Luftschutz-Ehrenzeichen 2. Stufe”). It’s mostly intact, showing some wear and some minor staining inside and out. The front portion of the upper lid is missing, but the remainder is reasonably solid and still protects the medal as it has for decades. This is a very attractive example of this medal, a desirable early issue, complete with the case.
Historical Description: German political and civil authorities began preparing for Allied air raids even before WWII started. The Reichs-Luftschutz-Bund (RLB), under the auspices of the German Luftwaffe, was the primary organization responsible for air raid protection and readiness. Shelters were constructed all over the German Reich, and civilians were issued gas masks. Members of the RLB wore many different kinds of uniforms and equipment, from fine regalia used in parades to work coveralls and protective equipment and gear for firefighting. After the outbreak of the war, the role of the Luftschutz was expanded, and other organizations were brought under the Luftschutz umbrella, including the Luftschutz-Warndienst, Luftschutzpolizei, and the Sicherheits- und Hilfsdienst. The men and women of the Luftschutz were tasked with extinguishing fires caused by incendiary bombs, often with nothing more than buckets of sand or water with hand pups. They maintained order in air raid bunkers and provided first aid to those injured in the bombings. In the day and night raids on the bombed-out cities, and even during the horrific firestorms that took the lives of thousands, the Luftschutz were on duty.
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