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Dear fellow collectors,

I recall a topic (by Rick Lundstrom I think) about how the Gestapo had cards filled with information about local recipients of high-end awards (made of precious metals). These awards had to be returned, but after the fall of the monarchies this largely came to a halt. It was said in this topic that the Gestapo would scan local newspapers for obituaries of deceased soldiers, go to the home of the next of kin and they would demand the decorations. They could be bought off however, for a price several times higher the worth of the award. Can anyone confirm this, or perhaps post a link to this topic which I can't seem to find?

Kind regards, and thanks in Advance, Laurentius

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I somehow doubt this, it would mean that the German State took over the rights of the Bavarian King, Sachsen King etc. etc... ?

An intersting topic indeed, I would be interested in any info... but I am guessing that it never happened....

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Dear Chris

That; s why I asked, I recall reading about it here, but a search on the web, both here and on other forums yielded no results. Hopefully someone remembers the topic, or is knowledgeable to these affairs. It wouldn't be surprising if you ask me, if you were to take all imperial decorations made of precious metals from all the German states you'd get quite a mountain of silver and gold.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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Interesting! I was just about to type that I thought may be relevant for Prussia, but not the other Länder.

The EK was not an issue as there was a law passed just before WW1 saying they did not need to be returned?

 

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Dear Komtur

I have 2 questions, what happened to the medals after they had been handed back to the authorities and why didn't they take the RAO 4th class? It's also made of silver, so there is value in it.

Kind regards, Laurentius

 

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I assume tghere was a raw material value and not a commercial value?

Strangely all of the awards on the paper are without swords .. did it include military awards?

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56 minutes ago, laurentius said:

... I have 2 questions, what happened to the medals after they had been handed back to the authorities and why didn't they take the RAO 4th class? It's also made of silver, so there is value in it. ...

The so called Abwicklungsstelle der früheren General-Ordenskommission took after 1918 also the silver Red Eagle Order 4th class back. It seems, after 1938 they were mainly interested in gold, even if it was only a small amount, as for the Crown Order 4th classes thin medaillon.

51 minutes ago, Chris Boonzaier said:

I assume there was a raw material value and not a commercial value? Strangely all of the awards on the paper are without swords .. did it include military awards?

Yes, see above. As directed in 1913 by the Prussian King, the bravery awards could be left with the surviving members of the family: Ferner erteile ich der bezüglich vor dem Feinde erworbenen Orden und Ehrenzeichen der General-Ordenskommission die gleiche Erlaubnis, wie sie für das Eiserne Kreuz wegen der Zurückbehaltung durch die Hinterbliebenen bereits in Übung ist.

 

1 hour ago, Chris Boonzaier said:

Interesting! I was just about to type that I thought may be relevant for Prussia, but not the other Länder.

The EK was not an issue as there was a law passed just before WW1 saying they did not need to be returned?

 

I am quite sure, that similar regulations were determined by the German States as parts of the Weimarian Republic, wich succeeded the former monarchies in the matter of law and right (e.g. Bavaria, Saxony ...), even if I can´t prove it with documents.

In case of the Iron Cross it was codified earlier, that by request the medal could be left with the family. The exact date of this regulation I unfortunately do not remember, but I could search for it in the documents.

But I can show by the documents for the Iron Cross on the noncombatant ribbon of Dr. König an example, how this was performed by the General-Ordens-Commission.

AKO Kriegsauszeichnungen 1913.JPG

 

 

 

 

König Urkunde EK2 1870.jpg

König Rückgabe 8. Mai 1894.jpg

König Rückgabe  5. Juni 1894.jpg

König Ordensschnalle.jpg

Edited by Komtur

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In the late 1930s only awards with gold had to be returned to the German state - as Komtur wrote.

The iron cross was for bravery and also not made of gold - so there was no Rückgabeverpflichtung.

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Dear ixhs

10 hours ago, ixhs said:

In the late 1930s only awards with gold had to be returned

Does this mean that this routine didn't take place during WW2? I think that during the war the dire need for precious metals was quite high.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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The latest paper i have seen was from ~ 1940 - it was an returned KO4.

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Although I seem to remember that the official decision not to recuperate iron Crosses only came about later... in this case it was  already authorized in 1doc.thumb.jpg.24145f73a5b5dea6b473b59b25cd218c.jpg910

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5 hours ago, laurentius said:

... Does this mean that this routine didn't take place during WW2? I think that during the war the dire need for precious metals was quite high. ...

In the end it was a question of effort and profit. It seems the administrative effort, to find out, who of the deceased person got the relevant medals or orders decades before and then force the famliy to return these decoration, wasn´t economically efficient. This was especially valid for the severe later war years. Then the administration simply had other problems.

Edited by Komtur

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3 hours ago, Chris Boonzaier said:

Although I seem to remember that the official decision not to recuperate iron Crosses only came about later... in this case it was  already authorized in 1910

The official decision was in 1913 (see document 1 in #8). But as written in this document too, there was a long time before without an offical instruction a custom, to left the Iron Crosses of 1870 by request with the family: ... wie sie für das Eiserne Kreuz wegen der Zurückbehaltung durch die Hinterbliebenen bereits in Übung ist.

An example for this custom exercised in 1894 (!) are the documents 3/4/5 and the medal bar of Dr. König in #8. These show the same procedure as in your document of 1910.

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Cool. Thanks for sharing

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And here we have something special - voila:

A returned decoration of a russian Großfürst - in 1916 an enermy - it returned over the spanish consulate

Landesarchiv_Baden-Wuerttemberg_Hauptstaatsarchiv_Stuttgart_E_130_b_Bue_54_Bild_73_(1-59651-73).jpg

 

Edited by ixhs

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18 hours ago, ixhs said:

And here we have something special - voila:

A returned decoration of a russian Großfürst - in 1916 an enermy - it returned over the spanish consulate

 

 

I wonder if that was out of protest?

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Für die Dauer des Krieges wurden fremdländische Dekorationen (aus feindlichen Staaten) üblicherweise abgelegt. Deshalb

findet man auch gelegentlich Schnalle, an den z.B. russische, rumänische, italienische usw. Dekorationen fehlen.

Ich finde es nur bemerkenswert, das vorliegend die Dekoration sogar während des Krieges unter Vermittlung des neutralen Spaniens

an das Dt. Reich zurückgegeben wurde.

Sorry, my english isn`t good enough.

And here a closeup of the letter with award numbers of the Nachverleihungen after 1918. (which was new for me)

XYZ.jpg

And here we have a letter, which shows, that for example Johann Wagner & Sohn, Berlin also produced decorations after Nov. 1918

Landesarchiv_Baden-Wuerttemberg_Hauptstaatsarchiv_Stuttgart_E_130_b_Bue_14_Bild_38_(1-59611-38).jpg

Edited by ixhs

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And that´s the end of the story - in 1942.

Landesarchiv_Baden-Wuerttemberg_Hauptstaatsarchiv_Stuttgart_E_130_b_Bue_53_Bild_346_(1-59650-346).jpg

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3 hours ago, ixhs said:

And that´s the end of the story - in 1942. ...

:beer:

The document confirms my suspicion, when an why the reclaim of orders stopped. The investigations were difficult and often without success. It was stopped to disburden the administration (Um die Verwaltung ... zu entlasten ...).

Edited by Komtur

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Ich bin halt der Größte ... lach😄

I know, i am the chief ... lol

I hope, Dr. M. is moving on of publishing data of the Landesarchiv.

Wuerttemberg rules. lol..

The green paraphe on the last shown pic is from Mergenthaler

 

Edited by ixhs

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Regarding returning "enemy" awards, from an article in the Tierärztliche Rundschau

"Rückgabe eines japanischen Ordens. Dem Oberstabs- und Regimentsveterinär Heinrich Lütje im Ulanen-Rgt. Nr. 20 in Ludwigsburg wurde im Jahre 1903 der japanische Orden vom heiligen Schatz, 5. Klasse verliehen. Er hat bei Beginn des Krieges diesen Orden dem Württembergischen Roten Kreuz zur Verwertung überwiesen und in einem Schreiben an die japanische Botschaft erklärt, dass es ihm nicht möglich sei, eine Auszeichnung vom Herrscher eines Landes zu tragen, dessen Regierung sich in solch schamloser Weise dem deutschen Reiche gegenüber verhalte und zwar trotz aller Wohltaten, die dieses Land und seine Angehörigen von dem deutschen Reiche, insbesondere von seiner Heeresverwaltung, genossen hätten. (Bravo! Red.)"

 

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