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Hungarian medal given to an East German


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Soviet,

These awards were given to those who helped build "Stalin City" in Hungary. I don't know a lot about this award except that it came in at least two grades. The diploma with the award indicates this one is a "First Class" award. Someone else can no doubt shed more light on this award.

Cheers,

Gordon

Edited by Gordon Craig
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"Stalinvaros" was a program of oddity as it was a plan to build a city where none had existed historicaly. Placed alongside a section of the Duna River, it was designed to be an indistrial hub of various heavy and light industry. Massive ammounds money were spent on the ambitious project to bring about a modern industrial city to, as some have said, impress Stalin by rapid industrialization. It was nearly antithematical for a nation known for its rich soil and bountiful agriculture yet lacked the raw materials to make steel.

As ambitious as the project was, it required engineers, planners, architects, etc... to pull it all off. According to what I have learned these medals were awareded to those who had made vital contributions to the project. The silver grade went to lead-managment types, while to bronze class went to project directors.

The silver class (First class) is extremely rare to find, the document even harder to find, and to a foreigner - even more rare (but probably explains its survival.)

The bronze class is more commonly found, but not readily always available. In both examples the case is also rare to find.

However - the example shown here appears to be a Silver Class document, with a cased bronze grade badge.

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Charles,

Thanks for adding to the thread. Looking at the auction again, I noticed that the award document is dated in 1957 while the award is dated in 1954. I beleive that I have seen these awards with other dates on them. Do you know what the earliest and latest years are that we could expect to find on the award? Should the year on the award match the year on the document?

Cheers,

Gordon

Edited by Gordon Craig
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All of the ones that I have seen are marked with '1951' the last '1' in these can be mistaken for a '4' easily enough. I think the one in the auction is also a '1'.

In the Blue Bible - there is no mention of a 'Stalin Vasmu' award - but there is the 'Dunai Vasmu' badge - it may have been more politically correct to 'rename' the awward for a publication in the 1970's. My assumtion that these are both the same award is that the 'Dunai Vasmu' was insitututed on March 10th 1951 (same year as marked on the badge, and no other 'Vasmu' awards - (Iron Works) were created in that year). Unlike the 'legends' that I was told about these - the book states that the first class was awarded for two years of continuious service wehre good work, etc... was displayed. The second class was for one year of continuious work in building the Iron Works Factory. It claims that the award was bestowed up to 1954. But interestingly enough this document was not bestowed until 1957 and yet still with the old pre October 23, 1956 coat of arms. A very interesting award document - besides being mismatched with the award itself.

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Charles,

Thanks for the additional information. I expanded the picture of the award in the auction and it appears that there is some slight damage to the numeral "1" that makes it look like a "4". Here is a picture of a bronze and silver award that Zsolt had for sale on ebay a little while ago.

Regards,

Gordon

Edited by Gordon Craig
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Hi gents,

There are 1951 in all of the medals, because it is the date of the foundation. The original name was Dunai Vasmű and Dunai Vasmű Eml?k?rem. In 7. November, 1951 got the Stalin Ironworks name. Of course after it ( March 1952 ) the Dunai Vasmű Eml?k?rem was renamed to Szt?lin Vasmű Eml?k?rem too.

There are 3 version in the inscription:

- Koh?szati Miniszter ( Metallurgical Minister )

- Koh? ?s G?pipari Miniszter ( Minister of Metallurgical and Engineering Industry )

- Koh? - ?s G?pipari Miniszter

Alltogether it is 8 version of this medal. ( bronze, silver Dunai Vasmű; bronze, silver Szt?lin Vasmű with 3 different inscriptions. )

Zsolt

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  • 1 year later...

I was lucky enough to pick up two cased St?linv?ros awards this week, a bronze and a silver, and that has prodded me into finishing the research we started on this thread some time ago.

To put it all together;

1-After the Communist?s gained control of the government in Hungary, (1948) they started a major industrialization program in support of its rearmament program. In 1949 a site on the Danube River, close to the town of Dunapentele, was chosen as the location to build one of the largest iron and steel works. The original plan had been to build this factory close to Moh?cs but worsening Yugoslav-Hungarian relation prompted a move away from a location so close to the Jugoslav border. A city of 25,000 residents was planned for the location of the factory. Construction of the city began on May 2, 1950 near Dunapentele. Inside of one year over 1000 housing units were constructed and the factory complex was under construction. The city took the name of Stalin officially on April 4, 1952; it?s name was St?linv?ros (Stalin City) as a parallel to Stalingrad in the USSR. The metal works was opened in 1954.

As Charles says in his post above, the award was founded on March 10th 1951. The blue book also says that the Bronze award was given for one year of continuous work in building the Iron Works Factory and the Silver award was given for two years of service, good work etc. It also says that the award was bestowed until 1954. That would seem reasonable as the factory complex was completed in 1954. However, as with most awards that were instituted for a specific period of time, it was obviously awarded after that. There would have been those that only qualified as construction was finishing and some who took time to be recognized due to bureaucratic delays. Because of the above document, that was awarded in 1957, we can say for sure they were awarded up to at least this date. Although, as a late award to a foreigner it may have come some time after the last of those Hungarians actually involved in the construction work had received their awards.

I think it is safe to say, using the above information, the earliest date the first awards (bronze) could have been presented would have been May of 1951 and for the silver, May of 1952. Hungarian practice during the HUPR was to present awards on specific dates related to the award. Since the 1957 dated award document above is dated in early May this may have been the approximate time of the year that this particular award was presented. This is just a supposition on my part as I don?t have records or other award documents to substantiate it.

That brings us to the inscriptions on the awards. It would be obvious that the bronze class of the Dunai Vasmű would have been issued but would the silver class have been? By the time anyone could qualify for the silver award the name of the city would have been changed to St?linv?ros. Zsolt indicates that the name of the award was changed to Szt?lin Vasmű Eml?k?rem in March of 1952. This may have given the government time to produce awards with the new inscriptions providing some silver awards were made in May of 1952. On the other hand, even if badges with the new name were available those available with the old name of the award may have been issued anyway. There are not enough award documents available to allow us to draw any firm conclusions nor have I ever seen any awards with the earlier wording on them.

Regards,

Gordon

First up, the top of the case for the Bronze award. It measures 86mm (3 3/8") x 102mm (4 1/4") x 22mm (7/8").

All text and photos are copyright material of Gordon Craig

Edited by Gordon Craig
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The top of the silver case. Where the bronze award case followed the common practice of the period of embossing the State Seal in gold on the top of the case the silver award has a metal State Seal on the top of the case. The silver award case measures 110mm (4 3/16") x 110mm (4 3/16") x 24mm (1").

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Charles,

I don't remember seeing any cases before myself so your comment is very interesting. The case shown above in the photo of the document appears to be of the cardboard type. Certainly be interesting to know why these much fancier cases were made and their specific purpose.

Regards,

Gordon

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Despite my comment above, I have at least seen pictures of the cardboard cases as I came across pictures of them today in my files while I was hunting for something else. These pictures are a good example of how much deterioration takes place on the silver awards. It must be some sort of chemical reaction between the metal used to make the award and the silver coating.

Regards,

Gordon

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