Product Description: This Next of Kin Hindenburg Medal is an excellent, representative example of this relatively hard-to-find award for parents and widows of WWI dead. It’s made of iron, as all of these are, and retains virtually all of the original black finish. It’s a nice strike, with smooth and clean surfaces, and all of the original detail is intact, with no evident wear. The reverse of the medal is flat, with some very minor handling marks, and is neatly maker marked with stylized initials. This Next of Kin Hindenburg Medal is complete with its correct, original full length ribbon, which is also very clean and crisp, with only slight age toning. This cross has a great look and remains in excellent condition overall.
Historical Description: The Hindenburg Cross (“Ehrenkreuz des Welkrieges,” also known as the “Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer” or “Frontkämpferehrenkreuz”) was an award instituted by Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg on July 193, 1934, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the start of WWI. It was the first state decoration instituted during the Third Reich, and was awarded to those who had participated in WWI and also to the next of kin of fallen soldiers. The Hindenburg Cross was a medal struck from iron, that was issued in three different grades. The Hindenburg Cross with Swords (Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer) for combatants, and the Hindenburg Cross without Swords (Ehrenkreuz für Kriegsteilnehmer) were both suspended from a red, white and black ribbon, with black outer borders, and had a bronze finish. The Hindenburg Cross for Next of Kin (Ehrenkreuz für die hinterbliebenen Witwen und Eltern gefallener Kriegsteilnehmer) had a ribbon with the same color scheme, but white outer borers, and had a black finish. Award of the Hindenburg Cross continued into March of 1935, with some exceptions awarded later. They were generally awarded by local civil authorities. In 1938, issue of the award was extended to those who had fought for Austria, and in 1942, to ethnic German WWI veterans from occupied territories in the East and West. In total, about 10 million of these awards were eventually awarded, making them perhaps the most common Third Reich award. The next of kin award was less commonly issued, making up only around 718,000 of the total.
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