Product Description: This Police 8 Year Service Medal is a nice, high quality example of this relatively scarce Polizei award. The medal is made of a heavy brass alloy (Tombak) that has a thick silver finish. The original finish shows an even patina throughout, with dark toning and some build-up in the recesses. The front of the award is adorned with the wreathed eagle and swastika organizational emblem of German police units. The reverse has the numeral “8” encircled by the wording “Für treue Dienste in der Polizei” (For loyal services in the Police), in a Fraktur typeface. This Police 8 Year Service Medal shows only slight wear, with some very minor, scattered marks. The suspension ring is intact, but there is no ribbon. The condition of this attractive medal rates as excellent.
Historical Description: The German Polizei (Police) had very many different roles before and during WWII. There were many different Police organizations that worked together for the purposes of law enforcement and maintaining order. The Ordnungspolizei was the regular police. Under the Ordnungspolizei umbrella were the various Schutzpolizei (protection police) units, including state, municipal, rural, and traffic police. There was also the Water Protection Police and the Fire Protection Police. Within the Ordnungspolizei jurisdiction was the Hilfspolizei, a category which included volunteer fire departments, Air Raid Protection Police, postal protection, and Factory Protection Police, among other groups. Police batallions of the Ordnungspolizei deployed to occupied territories during WWII, where their duties included the roundup and elimination of Jews and other civilian groups the Nazis regarded as undesirable. Besides the Ordnungspolizei, there was also the Sicherheitspolizei, made up of the combined forces of the criminal police and the Gestapo secret police. Under police jurisdiction was the Sicherheitsdienst, the intelligence service of the Nazi party and SS. Starting in 1943, all German police forces were placed under the command of SS leader Heinrich Himmler. The various Polizei organizations all had distinctive uniforms and insignia which indicated rank, organizational assignment, and occupational assignment. Headgear of Polizei units ranged from the mostly ornamental “Tschako” helmets of civilian police forces, to field caps and combat helmets. As with all Third Reich uniformed organizations, the Polizei had their own ID documents and awards, as well.
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