German Eagle Order, II Class Breast Star with Swords

CATEGORY: Version

SKU: 02.GTR.0101.208.01.000

Estimated market value:

$3500 USD

  • II Class Breast Star with Swords Obverse
  • II Class Breast Star with Swords Obverse
  • II Class Breast Star with Swords Obverse
  • II Class Breast Star with Swords Reverse
  • II Class Breast Star with Swords Reverse

Estimated market value:

$3500 USD

Attributes

  • Country
    Germany
  • Composition
    Silver or Silver gilt/Enamelled
  • Size
    75mm

Physical Description and Item Details


(Bruststern zum Verdienstkreuz des Ordens vom Deutschen Adler mit Schwertern). Instituted on 1 May 1937 by AH. (Issued 1943-1945.) A white-enamelled Maltese cross with white enameled arms, riveted to a silver, six-pointed star, with partially enameled national eagles between the arms of the cross, crossed swords mounted on the enamel at the centre of the cross, the reverse plain, with two hollow rivets, with a vertical pinback, and a functional hinge/catch assembly, silver hallmark “900” and maker mark ‘21” for Gebrüder Godet & Co. of Berlin, measuring 75.66 mm (w) x 75.80 mm (h), weighing 52.2 grams, and in mint condition.

Footnote: The 1937/1939 awards are marked simply “900,” while the 1943 breast star is marked “900” and “21.” See John R. Angolia, For Führer and Fatherland: Political & Civil Awards of the Third Reich, Second Edition (San Jose: R. James Bender, 1989), 52.

History


The Order was instituted by Adolf Hitler on May 1, 1937, as an honorary award conferred upon notable foreigners, particularly diplomats, who were considered sympathetic to the Nazi Regime and its ideals. However, in later years several German citizens were among the ones being awarded the Order.

There were official amendments made to the Order laws on April 10, 1939, and December 27, 1943. In the 1939 amendment, swords were added as a possible award attribute for military personnel. In 1943, the Order was expanded from six classes to nine classes. The names were changed as well, which often results in a certain level of confusion among those unfamiliar with the Order. Between 1937 and 1943, the Order was awarded in different grades, while this was changed to classes in 1943.

The suspension attachments of the Order also changed over time. From 1937 to 1939, the awards were attached to the suspension by a ring, and from 1939 to 1945, the awards were attached to the suspension by a fan. Since these were only introduced in 1939, all awards with swords feature the fan suspenders.

Citizens from countries that did not confer orders upon Germans did not receive the German Eagle Order. These were, for example, USSR, Poland, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, and Norway.

As a rough guideline, certain ranks were expected to receive certain medal grades: Ministers, Ambassadors and commanding Generals often received the Grand Cross, General Lieutenants often received the Merit Cross with Star, Colonels often received the Merit Cross I Class, Majors often received the Merit Cross II class, Captains often received the Merit Cross III Class, and non-Officers often received the Merit Medal. However, this guideline was eventually changed.

The II Class Breast Star with Swords has six rays.

If an individual had received the III Class award and was subsequently awarded the II Class award, they only received the Breast Star as they had already received the Cross.

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