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    The "Last" Freikorps Award

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    For years, it was generally thought that the last Freikorps award was the "Commemorative Badge of the City of Würzburg" (Erinnerungsplakette der Stadt Würzburg) shown (below top) given to members of Freikorps Würzburg in 1934 on the 15th anniversary of its formation. Freikorps Würzburg was formed from the Bavarian Reserve Jäger Regiment 15 that returned to Germany from Georgia in April 1919 after a long sea voyage by British merchant ship from the Black Sea to northern Germany and a train journey south to Bavaria. Bavarian Reserve Jäger Regiment 15 literally arrived at the Würzburg train station after their very circuitous and arduous return home and immediately volunteered to form Freikorps Würzburg, got back on the train and headed to Munich to join other Freikorps already taking up positions outside the city. It took part in the heavy fighting in Munich against the Munich Soviet Republic on May 2-3, 1919.

    Subsequently, Freikorps awards were prohibited for wear by active members of the German Armed Forces from 1935 onwards and it was generally thought that this therefore was the last official Freikorps award.

    However, another Freikorps award, instituted in 1937, two years after the prohibition date has come to light, and therefore replaces the Freikorps Würzburg badge as the likely candidate for the last Freikorps award.

    The "Honor and Commemorative Badge for the Liberators of Munich 1919" (Ehren- und Erinnerungszeichen der Befreier Münchens 1919) has been known about for some time, but wrongly identified until recently.

    There are two minor variations of the badge shown here (below bottom). The one on the right is from my collection and the one on the left is currently up for auction at Herman Historica along with documentation. I've attached the award document that is currently part of the Herman Historica lot.

    Despite this apparently being a general award given in 1937 by the local Munich authorities and stamped with the logo of the Association of Liberators of Munich, and therefore likely open to any of the 30,000+ Freikorps (including Freikorps Würzburg) who participated in the battle in May 1919, it is an extremely rare badge.

    Also, below is a photo of the dedication ceremony on May 3, 1942 of the Freikorps Monument for the "Liberators of Munich from the Communist Hordes". The monument was destroyed by the Americans in 1945.






    Edited by bolewts58
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