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Medal for Long Service for Voluntary Helpers in Guarding State Borders


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Medaille für Treue Dienste freiwilliger Helfer beim Schutz der Staatsgrenze der DDR

Instituted 5 December 1986, and awarded for loyal and conscientious voluntary service guarding borders in 6 classes (for service of 30 years, 25 years, 20 years, 15 years, 10 years and 5 years respectively).

30 Years:

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The full-time ones do. These awards were for part-timers, 'volunteers' (mostly paid but not their day job), and also people living in border areas who participated in sort of neighbourhood watch type activities, keeping an eye on things.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The full-time ones do. These awards were for part-timers, 'volunteers' (mostly paid but not their day job), and also people living in border areas who participated in sort of neighbourhood watch type activities, keeping an eye on things.

Those "things," to get them clear, was mostly keeping an eye on the country's own citizens to prevent their escape from the DDR, which not infrequently ended up in their death or years of imprisonment (an attempt to flee from East Germany was a criminal offence). Not surprisingly, those "volunteers" were much more active in the areas adjacent to West Germany and West Berlin than at the border with Poland or Czechoslovakia. DDR's Border Guard was one of few institutions of that kind in the world that guarded going out of the country rather than getting into it. The first conferment of the medal took place in December 1987, just two years before the Wall crumbled. To me one of the most shameful medals ever instituted.

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Just so, but if I only posted medals I approved of, or which were/are awarded by regimes I approve of, my website would be sparse indeed!

Megan, don't take it personally. I only wanted to point the thing out. I am sure most people here are aware what the DDR, Third Reich or USSR really was. Lots of medals, including many medals posted by really good fellows on this forum have even worse stories behind them. You are doing a great job indeed and please go on doing so! :)

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The sad thing is, often it is the most reprehensible regimes - past and present - which have the nicest medals! Even if you wouldn't want to live there, let alone behave in a manner that would earn you any of them.

I'm not offended in the slightest, just that I feel it's better to keep political commentary separate from a purely phaleristic study. Else I run the risk of offending someone whose ethical standpoint is different from mine! If I express no political opinion at all I can at least say that every nation, every regime is treated exactly the same.

Consider the rather sad comments so many sites feel they need to put about not supporting the views of the Third Reich - whilst displaying material from other regimes that may be equally distasteful in their policies or treatment of their citizens.

And in other news, I'm off to post the next East German medal to hit my site!

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