This is a very nice World War I veteran’s medalbar with the following four medals on it:
- Iron Cross second class, maker marked in the ring with a “J”, indicating it was made by C.E. Junker from Berlin.
- Deutsche Ehrendenkmünze des Weltkriegs, with the special “Deutsche Ehrenlegion Kampfabzeichen” clip on the ribbon, indicating actual Frontservice in the trenches of WWI.
- 1925-1934 Preussen Kriegerverein-Ehrenkreuz second class, for service in “Kriegervereinswesen” (veteransorganisation), it is marked in the ring with H. Timm Berlin, this was the sole maker of these crosses.
- Kriegsdenkmünze (Kyffhäuser Medaille) “Blank die Wehr-Rein die Ehr 1914-1918” with swords, indicating again frontservice in World War I.
This medalbar is a typical example of interbellum period, post great war, veterans awared medals. In the wake of WWI and the mess that was the Weimar period in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, many thought it was only fitting to award the veterans some kind of medal as recognition for their service in WWI. However, many veterans organisations like the Kyffhäuserbund and other “Kriegervereine” operated on their own and not under the official umbrella of a german government. If we look at the medals awarded here, we see the 1920 Prussian veterans cross second class, later followed by the Kriegsdenkmünze and even the Ehrendenkmünze des Weltkriegs, all very typical of the period.
What we don’t see is a Frontkämpfer Ehrenkreuz (or as it is also called: Hindenburgkreuz). This gives us a date of manufacture of the medalbar, as of 1934 onwards, the NSDAP decided that the plethora of veteransmedals had to be halted, and thus officially instituted the Frontkämpfer Ehrenkreuz to replace the many often local issued veteransmedals. Now every Great War veteran got an official medal as recognation in World War I. However, there is no Frontkämpfer Ehrenkreuz present here and thus we know for certain the medal is from before the year 1934, and is most probably early 1930’s period to be dated.
This is a very interesting piece of history, that also gives a great insight in interbellum period veterans medals, hard to find like this and in very good condition too!