Product Description: This Social Welfare Service Medal is a nice piece, with a very attractive look. It is made of silvered zinc. Nearly all of the original silver finish is intact, with an appealing, matte appearance. Subtle darker tones in the recesses of the design contrast with the highlights, setting off the graphic elements. The obverse shows almost no wear, with just some tiny contact marks. All of the original detail is intact. The reverse is mostly clean, with some tiny chips to the finish in one place on the edge. The surfaces on this award are nice and smooth throughout. This This Social Welfare Service Medal is complete with its original suspension ring. There is no ribbon. This award does not appear to have ever been issued, and remains in outstanding, near mint condition.
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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