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Bronze Cross of Honor of the German Mother medal, 3rd Class Order

Object | Accession Number: 2017.254.1

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    Brief Narrative
    Cross of Honor of the German Mother (Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter), 3rd class order, Bronze medal issued by the Nazi Party between May 1939, and the end of World War II in May 1945. More commonly known as the Mother’s Cross (Mutterkreuz), the medal served as a propaganda measure to promote National Socialist population policy of glorifying family life and increasing population levels. It was a civilian award instituted following a December 16, 1938, decree by Adolf Hitler to encourage German woman to bear more children. Recipients were nominated by the Nazi Party or government officials, and had to be of pure German origin and good character, politically and socially. The award came with special privileges, including preferential treatment when shopping, respect in society, and childcare services. A woman could also lose the award for poor behavior, such as, neglecting her children or cheating on her husband. The medal was issued in three classes: gold (first class) for mothers with eight or more children, silver (second class) for those with six to seven children, and bronze (third class) for bearing four to five children. In 1939, the first awards were presented to approximately three million German mothers.
    issue:  1939 May-1945 May
    issue: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Tina Polega
    front, around the swastika, embossed : DER DEUTSCHEN MUTTER [THE GERMAN MOTHER]
    back, engraved : 16 / Dezember / 1938 / Adolf Hitler (in cursive) [16 / December / 1938]
    Issuer: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Medals, German (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Bronze, cross pattee medal with an elongated lower arm. The arms are blue enamel at the center with a white enamel border, edged in bronze. In the center, there is a circular badge bearing a black enamel swastika on a circular, white field with a bronze border. German text is embossed on the border between the two raised edges. A bronze, 5-rayed sunburst fills the space between the cross’ arms. The top arm has a rectangular loop extending from the edge with a silver-colored suspension ring passing through it. Attached to the ring is an approximately 0.750 inch long looped length of silver-colored chain links. The back is smooth, with German text, and a facsimile of Adolf Hitler’s signature engraved at the center. The bronze is discolored overall, and there is some cracking and staining on the white enamel.
    overall: Height: 2.500 inches (6.35 cm) | Width: 1.375 inches (3.493 cm) | Depth: 0.125 inches (0.318 cm)
    overall : bronze, metal, enamel

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Corporate Name
    Nazi Party

    Administrative Notes

    The medal was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2017 by Tina Polega.
    Record last modified:
    2024-01-25 14:32:53
    This page:

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