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A "soldatenfestspiele" could be described as an NVA soldiers' festival, complete with athletic contests, music, plays, sketches, poetry, etc. put on by the soldiers themselves. The Stasi's military unit, the Feliks Dzierzynski Wachregiment, conducted these festivals as well, and produced badges and medals (gold, silver and bronze) to award for prowess in a chosen field.

I have a few of these I thought I'd share. At the bottom is the unit's cuff title.

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There were three distinct variants of these medals/badges given from the '60's through 1989. I have been unable to pinpoint cut-off dates for these variants, but I can tell you what the three looked like, and I can show you two.

In variant one, which I don't have, the soldier's tunic is closed at the collar, and the type reads "Wachregiment Berlin Des MfS Feliks Dzierzynski". The attachment at the top of the medal is a "U" shaped hanger.

The second variant, shown at the top of this image, keeps all the properties of the first variant but the type has been changed to read "Wachregiment Berlin Feliks Dzierzynski Des MfS".

The third, and final, variant (shown at the bottom of this image) features the same type, but the tunic collar is now open and there is a hole at the top for mounting.

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The"odd man out" in all of this is my one Kampfsport badge. These are from the same period but were not associated with the soldatenfestspiele. The kampfsport was a separate contest of "war sports"; physical, battle-type competitions- no other activities. All kampfsport badges were bronze; the roman numeral at the bottom indicated the level of the award. This is for second place.

This version of the badge is the MfS (Stasi) version, and has the State seal below "Kampfsport". The police had a similar badge, but theirs had the police "star" below "Kampfsport".

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Thanks, Uwe.

Yeah, the DDR had lots of versions. Take those two silver soldatenfestspiele badges... fronts are exactly alike, fasteners are exactly alike BUT one has a smooth back and one has a kind of texture more or less like crosshatching. So, I guess these are two different versions of the same version???:speechless:

Also, since the DDR "jobbed-out" their awards to different shops (no State Mint as in the USSR) there were bound to be differences. On the two badges you've shown, and aside from the difference you've pointed out, I can also see a difference in the green paint used.

Edited by Greg Collins
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