Product Description: This is a great example of a Straight G Memel Annexation Medal. These Memel medals are rare, much harder to find than the other “flower wars” medals in this series. This is the variant known to collectors as the “Straight G” variant, and is attributed to the firm of Steinhauer & Lück, in Lüdenscheid. The medal is made of a brass alloy. It shows only very slight wear, with a light, even age patina to the surface on both sides. All of the original detail is still present. The suspension ring is intact, and is unmarked, as is typical. The correct original white, red and green ribbon is intact, with factory zig-zag cut ends. The ribbon is clean, with only minimal toning, and shows nice color. This Straight G Memel Annexation Medal has nice eye appeal and is a very attractive original piece. The condition rates as excellent plus overall.
Historical Description: In 1938 and 1939, a triumphant, ascendant Germany used a combination of political/diplomatic pressure and military operations/threats to annex and occupy (or re-occupy) areas that were to become part of the Greater German Reich. To recognize these successes, the German government instituted a series of three medals, known as the German Occupation Medals (or “Flower War Medals). There were three of these awards, all with the same obverse design. They were designed by Professor Richard Klein of Munich, and featured two nude men, one bearing a Nazi flag, ascending a podium with the German eagle and swastika emblem. Each of the three different awards had a different date on the reverse (the date of the event each commemorated), and each had a different ribbon. The first of these medals to be instituted was the medal for the Austrian Anschluss, which appeared on May 1 1938, and bore the date “13. März 1938.” It had a silver finish, and a red ribbon with white-black-white stripes at the edges. The next “Flower War” medal to be instituted, and the one awarded in the greatest numbers, came on October 18 1938, to commemorate the occupation of the Sudetenland on October 1. It had a bronze finish and a red and black ribbon. The reverse of each of these bore the lettering “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer” (One People, One Nation, One Leader” with German swastika emblems and the date of institution of the award. The last of these medals, the “Memel Medal,” was authorized on May 1, 1939, and commemorated the return of the Memel Territory on March 22 1939. This medal had a different reverse, a bronze finish and a ribbon with white, red, and green stripes. This medal was only awarded 31,322 times (compared to 318,689 awards of the Anschluss medal and 1,162,617 awards of the Sudetenland medal). Issue of “Flower Wars” medals ceased at the end of 1940.
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