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"Stasi Decorations And Memorabilia: A Collector's Guide"


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I don't get off The Island much, but now that :unsure: another Undisclosed Location is being used for "The Spare," I ventured down to Virginia 2 weekends ago and met Ralph at a local militaria show. This was the first time I had gotten to see either

a) the book or

b) Ralph

and I must say BOTH were a pleasure! :cheers:

I am most favorably reminded of a combination of Steve Previtera's lavishly illustrated books, and the sort of all-encompassing data found in my late friend Neal O'Connor's WW1 German aviation awards series.

For those of you who--like me--don't get to Big Shows much--

Ralph covered EVERYTHING in this terrific book. Particularly useful to those of us doomed as a decade behind the DDR collecting curve :speechless: are the many detailed illustrations and explanations of award documents for the sort of decorations that only careful reading WILL reveal :unsure: to have been Stasi. :rolleyes:

One CAN still live in hope of Professional Dealers who cannot read the language of their wares. :catjava:

This is a great book and highly recommended.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

I'm still waiting for the 2nd volume! :love:

Only one default: the hiden visages on photos. But I can understand the law is more severe on this side of Atlantic than on the other.

Beyond all criterias, this book is RELIABLE. And of course it worked perfectly when I authentified a small group of stasi diplomas I gathered.

One of the great books of phaleristics, next to the Mac Daniels, Durov and Bartel's books!

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I'm still waiting for the 2nd volume! :love:

Only one default: the hiden visages on photos. But I can understand the law is more severe on this side of Atlantic than on the other.

Beyond all criterias, this book is RELIABLE. And of course it worked perfectly when I authentified a small group of stasi diplomas I gathered.

One of the great books of phaleristics, next to the Mac Daniels, Durov and Bartel's books!

It's indeed a great book and I have a copy in my library. I talked to Ralph a couple of weeks ago. He is still working on the second book, which promises to be even better than the first.

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I talked to Ralph today and he is pleased with all of your positive comments about the first book. Over the last few months he has been kind enough to show me drafts of some of the chapters in the second book. He covers the Stasi sponsored Sports Club Dynamo extensively and has a chapter devoted exclusively to the Stasi Wachregiment "Feliks Dzierzynski". If memory serves he also covers the Stasi Juristische Hochschule (JHS) in Potsdam. These are all areas where there is no in depth research in English. They combine high quality images of insignia with never before published photos from private collections, all complemented with an engaging text in English.

Ralph in getting close to finishing this second book. But says he needs more sales on the first book to justify printing the second. So if you have been holding off on buying the first book now is the time to do so. I have a feeling that in the not too distant future Ralph's book is going to be like Paul McDaniel's The Comprehensive Guide to Soviet Orders and Medals. Out of print and available only at a prohibitively expense price. Paul's book is hard to find under $200.

Kevin

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It's hard to believe it's been nearly two years since my last post on the status of Ralph's second book. I just spoke to Ralph Pickard and his long awaited Volume II of Stasi Decorations and Memorabilia is finished and will be out at the end of December 2011.

Those of you who are familiar with Volume I, an exhaustively researched study of medals and documents issued to the Stasi, will not be disappointed with this even larger and more extensive Volume II with over 350 page and 800 photos. The second volume is very comprehensive covering a wide range of Stasi topics including insignia, rank, uniforms, general officers, pay, the Wachregiment „Feliks Dzierzynski“, the Dynamo sports organization, an update on medals and decorations and much more.

Ralph's book is the only major East German collecting reference in English and contains hundreds of never seen before photos. His research covers a number of Stasi areas that are not published anywhere else.

Ralph is taking pre-orders for the book at 79 US Dollars. The regular price will be 89 US Dollars.

Ralph's working on updating his website to include Vol II http://www.frontlinehistorical.com sometime in early November, but until then you can PM me and I'll pass your messages on to him.

I've included Ralph's publisher's draft of the the cover of this book.

Kevin

Edited by ehrentitle
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I have just learned from Ralph that Volume II is at the printers and he is currently taking pre-orders. The books should be received mid Decemebr 2011 and ready to ship at the end of the month. For people who pre-order the books, the cost will be $79 USD. After which the price will be $89 USD which will be worth it since volume II has over 350 pages and over 800 photos.

If you are intersted in pre-ordering you can send payment to:

Ralph Pickard

PO Box 79

Lorton VA 22199

Be sure to state that payment is for Vol 2 to avoid confusion becasue he is still selling Vol 1.

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went out to get the mail today and to my complete and utter surprise there was an advanced copy of Ralph's new book STASI Decorations and Memorabilia Vol II in the mailbox.

After I got over the initial shock I spent an hour going through the book until I reached sensory overload. There was too much to take in with one sitting. The section on uniforms particularly stood out since there were 27 pages on uniforms alone showcasing rare uniforms from private collections. The section on Stasi academy badges is likewise impressive.

The section on the Wachregiment is extensive with 78 pages alone. There is also coverage of the Freie Deutsche Jugend, Juristische Hoschschule, SV Dynamo, KGB badges, wax seals and ink stamps and much. much more.

There is something for every collector from shoulder boards, collar tabs and cuff titles to medals, plates, pins, as well as birthday, promotion and anniversary memorabilia and documents. It's truly amazing what Ralph has covered in this second volume.

Ralph expects to start mailing out the book at the end of December. He is taking preorders and is discounting the book by $10 for those who submit a preorder now. For more information see:

http://stasidecorations.wordpress.com/

Here is a photo of the two volumes together:

6408749625_d902f99366_b.jpg

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Ralph just updated his blog and added a buy Vol II page at: http://stasidecorations.wordpress.com/buy-volume-ii

For those folks who do not have Vol I he is offering a bundle deal for Vol I & II together at a reduced price.

He is only printing 750 copies of Vol II, all of which will numbered on the title page. So those that want a low numbered book should consider pre-ordering.

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I received my copy yesterday and, though I haven't read it through yet, I have had the opportunity to give the book a fairly thorough "going over". It is, simply, stunning. The amount of material is, well, overwhelming and beautifully presented. Magnificent.

I heartily recommend this book, along with volume 1, to all collectors of the Cold War.

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Gentlemen,

My copy arrived today and I heartily agree with Greg. I've spent a good part of the day going over the chapter on KGB Anniversary badges and will spend more time on it tomorrow. Lots of interesting stuff in this book.

Regards,

Gordon

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STASI Decorations and Memorabilia: A Collectors Guide - Vol 2

I received my copy today. :jumping:

This seems an excellent work with many MfS topics covered !!

Hours of reading anticipated.

Congrats to Ralph for this outstanding work !! :love:

Cheers.

Ch.

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OK, I've finished reading the second volume; an incredible amount of material is covered and beautifully laid out. What an effort on Ralph's part! I do not believe I've ever seen any subject covered so thoroughly.

This 2 volume set is, in my opinion, a new benchmark for books covering Cold War memorabilia. Not a catalog to use as a quick reference to see which medal is which- there are other books for that- but, rather, an incredibly in-depth, scholarly approach to orders, medals, badges and other memorabilia directly and indirectly associated with the Ministry of State Security. In describing these items and their associated documents and providing photos of the items being presented and worn, Ralph has given a glimpse of several key personalities as well as some insight into some operational aspects of the organization. It is a marvelous set of books and, as I said before, a must for all collectors of the Cold War.

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I thought I'd bring this thread back to life since it's been a few months and we may have some new members who are not aware of Ralph's excellent book, "STASI Decorations and Memorabilia Vol II" which was published in January. For anyone who collects or is thinking about collecting East German Stasi items this is a must have book written by the expert in the field. For more see Ralph's blog at: http://stasidecorations.wordpress.com

Edited by ehrentitle
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Ralph's recently written an excellent article in the Summer 2012 edition of the International Medal Collector Magazine on the Verdienstmedaille der Nationalen Volksarmee – Awarded to the Members of the MfS (Stasi). He has posted it on his blog at: http://stasidecorati...ers-of-the-mfs/

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