Product Description: This cased Ostvolk Medal First Class in Gold is a very rare set. The award itself is unmarked, and made from zinc, both typical traits for these awards. It is the type without swords, and was issued for merit. Most of the finish on the front of the award has faded, though very evident traces remain. The badge shows some wear and normal age patina but remains in excellent condition overall. The reverse of the badge retains some original shiny gold finish on the zinc and nearly all of the original finish on the hardware. The hardware setup features a wide pin and is intact, unrepaired, functional and textbook for this award. This Ostvolk Medal First Class in Gold is complete with its original case of issue, which is very rarely encountered. The lid of the case is impressed with the design of this award (the gold grade without swords, a perfect match for the award inside). The leatherette exterior shows some handling wear and abrasions but has no serious damage. The hinge and push-button closure mechanism are intact and functional with no issues. Inside, the award rests on a black flocked insert. This is a great example of the Ostvolk Medal First Class in Gold, and a very hard cased set to find.
Historical Description: The Ostvolk Medal (Ostvolkmedaille) was originally introduced on July 14, 1942, and was designed by Elmar Lang. The official German designation for the award was “Tapferkeits- und Verdienstauszeichnung für Angehörige der Ostvölker” which translates to :”Bravery and Merit Award for Members of Eastern Peoples.” These awards were intended to reward former citizens of the Soviet Union who served alongside the German armed forces as collaborators, particularly in the Eastern Front. The award was given to personnel including Cossacks, members of Schuma security units, and members of units of the Sicherheitspolizei and SD. By the fall of 1942, German troops serving in units made up of Eastern volunteers were also eligible for this medal. The award was issued in a somewhat confusing array of variations. The First Class award was a pin back award that was worn on the uniform pocket, while the Second Class award was a medal suspended from a ribbon. Both the First Class and Second Class versions were made with swords, indicating bravery, and without swords, which was an award for merit. Both the First Class and Second Class awards, with or without swords, were also made in Bronze, Silver and Gold grades. Only about 7,000 of these, in all grades, were awarded, making this a rather rare award.
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