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Iron Cross, 1939, 2nd class, 1957 version (Eisernes Kreuz, 1939, 2. Klasse, 1957 Modell)
[DE893]
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Iron Cross, 1939, 2nd class, 1957 version (Eisernes Kreuz, 1939, 2. Klasse, 1957 Modell)
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White metal cross pattée of multi-part construction with a blackened magnetic iron cross pattée imposed within a white metal hatched border, with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with central oak leaves, the date ‘1939’ below; the reverse dated ‘1813’ on the lower arm; on original ribbon. The Iron Cross was instituted on 10 March 1813 by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia during the War of Liberation against the Napoleonic French forces to be awarded for bravery. It was designed by the neo-classical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and reflects the cross of the Teutonic Knights in the late Middle Ages which was also the emblem of Frederick the Great. It was reinstated in 1870-1871 for the Franco-Prussian War, in 1914 for World War I and again on 1 September 1939, the day of the German invasion of Poland that led to the outbreak of World War II, this time with the National Socialist cross gammée (swastika) replacing the royal cipher centrally. At the end of World War II the Allied Occupying Powers outlawed the wearing of all German military honours. On 26 July 1957 the ‘Gesetz über Titel, Orden und Ehrenzeichen’ (Law regarding Titles, Medals and Decorations) decreed that awards dating from before the National Socialist assumption of power in Germany in 1933 may be worn so long as they are in their original form and that medals and decorations awarded after that date and up to 8 May 1945 may also be worn but only if the symbols relating to National Socialism are removed. Thus, from 1957 onwards, those who had been awarded the Iron Cross during World War II could wear it in the form shown in this ‘de-Nazified’ example. For a variety of reasons, these post-1957 awards are rarer than those awarded during World War II. There is some discussion as to whether they should be regarded as reproductions but they were officially sanctioned and are now generally recognised as forming the last chapter in the long history of the Iron Cross. A very good example.

 
Iron Cross, 1939, 2nd class, 1957 version (Eisernes Kreuz, 1939, 2. Klasse, 1957 Modell)
Click to enlarge
Iron Cross, 1939, 2nd class, 1957 version (Eisernes Kreuz, 1939, 2. Klasse, 1957 Modell)
Click to enlarge
Iron Cross, 1939, 2nd class, 1957 version (Eisernes Kreuz, 1939, 2. Klasse, 1957 Modell)
Click to enlarge
     
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