Product Description: This Social Welfare Medal is in excellent condition and very attractive. It’s a desirable early strike, cleanly executed in silver-plated bronze. Most of the original silver plating is intact, with wear to the high points on both sides as well as some minor handling marks here and there. The silver plating has a pleasant, old patina that is nicely matching on the obverse and reverse. This example of the Social Welfare Medal is complete with its original suspension ring, and red and white suspension ribbon. The ribbon is clean, with no damage, and only minor, typical age toning. This Social Welfare Medal is a one-look original example, uncleaned, with lots of eye appeal.
Historical Description: On May 1, 1939, Adolf Hitler introduced a new series of social welfare awards to reward contributions to the German civil population. The official introduction of this series of awards stated that they were to be awarded for achievements in the areas of social welfare, the winter relief organization, care of sick and wounded in wartime and in peace, rescue work, care of the German people and of ethnic Germans in other countries. These awards replaced an early series of Red Cross award. The lowest grade of the new series of awards was called the “Medaille der deutschen Volkspflege,” often referred to as the Social Welfare Medal. The medal was made of bronze or zinc with a silver fuinish, and bore a German national eagle and swastika on the front, superimposed on a cross. The rear bore the inscription “Medaille für deutsche Volkspflege.” The higher grades of the award were designed by Prof. Richard Klein in the form of a cross, and called the “Ehrenzeichen der deutschen Volkspflege.” The cross was a white enameled cross, on which was affixed a black and white enameled German eagle and swastika. There were four grades of the cross. The highest level, the I. Stufe (first class), was a large breast star that had the cross affixed to 1 4-pointed star. The II. Stufe of the cross was worn around the neck on a broad ribbon. The III. Stufe was a pin-back cross, and the IV. Stufe was a medal suspended from a ribbon. These Social Welfare decorations were classified as National Socialist awards after the war, and were not permitted to be worn after 1945.
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