Everyone Gets A Medal: Curious Decorations and Awards of the Third Reich

The Nazis handed medals out to people like candy. Everyone likes a medal. Besides, they didn’t really cost anything. Have a lot of kids? Good. You get the ‘Cross of Honor of the German Mother’. In three grades no less.

Bronze: four or five children
Silver: six or seven children
Gold: eight or more children

You sure deserved something if you had eight children although money may have been more helpful.

Work in a stable shoveling horse shit? Don’t worry. We have a medal just for you. ‘Badge for the Care of Horses’ in bronze, silver or gold depending on how long you had been at it.
But what if you just sit around on your ass building model planes? Never fear. The Nazi Party created a badge to address this issue: ‘Aero Modelling Proficiency Badge’ in grade A, B or C. (#66)
What about working women? If you refuse to have eight children and insist on working then that is OK because if you work on the Reichsbahn you get the ‘Service Badge For German Female Railway Staff.’

You practically had to sit by yourself in a darkened room not to get some sort of decoration from the government.

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

One thought on “Everyone Gets A Medal: Curious Decorations and Awards of the Third Reich”

  1. I may be mistaken on this, but in a mildly ironic counterpoint, I understand the British refused to award campaign ribbons to the crews of Bomber Command. This apparently in a fit of remorse and national guilt over the strategic decision to use area bombing against Germany.

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