Orders & Medals Society of America Forums German Medal Collecting Germany post-1945 Decoration of the German’s People Police (Volkspolizei)

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  • #12094

    john f.
    Participant

    The Decoration of the German’s People Police was created in 1949 by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, (DDR), Ministry of Interior (MdI) and became an official decoration after decree from the East German legislature (Volkskammer). The medal was awarded to East German Policemen (Volkspolizei or VOPO for short) for outstanding achievements, personal bravery and faithful service in the protection of the DDR and the East German people. The award could also be presented to members of the Ministry for State Security (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS), commonly known as the Stasi who worked both overtly and covertly within the VOPO ranks.
    The award could only be issued once to a recipient and usually came with a financial allowance.

    The award was presented by the MdI and the Head of the VOPO (Chief of Police) during an elaborate ceremony that took place twice a year. The first ceremony was on 1 July, which was called the “Day of the Police” and was the anniversary date of the founding of the Volkspolizei. The second ceremony was on 7 October, which was the anniversary of the founding of the GDR/DDR. Under certain circumstances the award could also be presented immediately following a great act of bravery or achievement but was normally reserved for the above mention dates.

    What is interesting about the badge pictured is that the set-up (pin, hinge and the catch) on the backside looks hauntingly like a wound badge (WB) from the Third Reich (TR) era. With my interest peaked, I broke out some reference books and talked to a few WB collectors and discovered that this set-up (specifically the catch) was fairly unique and was attributed to the TR manufacturer, Hermann Wernstein (L/17) of Jena, Germany. A quick look on Google Earth shows that Jena Germany sat in the fomer DDR. Wernstein was a known maker of TR Sports and Wound Badges. So chances are good that this badge is a Wernstein production.

    This particular badge is a Type I (1949-55) with vertical pin with serial number . Type II (1955-65) had a horizontal pin and the deletion of a serial number. Type III (1965-89) the badge was converted to a medal and was hung from the standard "stubby" East German five sided ribbon. The wording from the flag was also removed and the East German State Seal (Staatswappen) was added.
    VOPO Badge TR WB 4.jpg
    VOPO Badge TR WB 3.jpg
    VOPO Badge 2.JPG
    VOPO Badge 1.JPG

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    #14901

    john f.
    Participant

    Example of the Type III, 1965-89. The badge was converted to a medal and was hung from a five sided ribbon. The wording from the flag was removed and the East German State Seal (Staatswappen) was added.
    VOPO Badge 5.JPG

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    #14906

    medalnet
    Participant

    Thank you! Very informative! DDR medals are very interesting indeed. For its 50 years of existence there are a lot of variations in types of the same medal.

    #14835

    hagen
    Member

    Great medal to "break the ice" with in this sub-forum John. :)

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