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Orders, decorations, and medals of East Germany

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Title: Orders, decorations, and medals of East Germany  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Volksmarine, Awards and decorations of the German Armed Forces, Vladimir Kvachkov, Patriotic Order of Merit, Orders, decorations, and medals of Nazi Germany
Collection: Orders, Decorations, and Medals of East Germany
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Orders, decorations, and medals of East Germany

After the establishment of the German Democratic Republic the new country prohibited the wearing of all pre-1945 German awards and created a new system of various decorations that was inspired by those of the USSR.[1][2]

After German reunification, wearing of East German awards was forbidden.


  • Titles 1
    • Hero of the German Democratic Republic 1.1
    • Hero of Labour 1.2
  • Order and Medals 2
    • Order 2.1
    • Military decorations 2.2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Hero of the German Democratic Republic

"Hero of the German Democratic Republic" (German: Held der DDR), the highest honorary title in East Germany, originated on 28 October 1975 and rewarded both soldiers and civilians. Those who received the title enjoyed many benefits, such as free public transport. A yearly ratio was intended that limited up to 10 title assignments. It was awarded for "extraordinary achievements and earnings/services the hero acts for the GDR, for their development and all-round stabilization, for which international acknowledgement and authority achieved as well as for its safe military protection".

Those who became Held der DDR also automatically qualified for the Karl Marx Order. The decoration was supposed to be returned to the state upon the recipient's death. In all 9 awards to 7 people were made:

Hero of Labour

The Hero of Labour (German: Held der Arbeit) was awarded for "particularly outstanding, innovative activity, in particular in the fields of industry and agriculture, which traffic or the trade rendered or by scientific discoveries or technical inventions special services around the structure and the victory of socialism and by this activity the national economy and thus growth and the reputation of the German Democratic Republic promoted". In addition, the recipient would get receive a 10,000 East German Mark award.

Order and Medals


Order Ribbon
Name (English/German) Date of
Hero of GDR
Held der DDR
Karl Marx Order
Karl Marx Orden
Patriotic Order of Merit
Vaterländischer Verdienstorden
1954-05-21 Awarded for special services to the state and to society
Banner of Labour
Banner der Arbeit
National Prize of East Germany
Nationalpreis der DDR
Star of People's Friendship
Stern der Völkerfreundschaft
Blücher Order
Blücher Orden
1965-10-13 Award for valor in time of war; never awarded.

Military decorations

Medal Ribbon
Name (English/German) Date of
Hans Beimler Medal
(Hans Beimler Medaille)
Scharnhorst Order
1966-02-17 Contributed in a major way to the betterment of the DDR Principles of Ideology

Combat order "Of Merit for the Nation and Fatherland"
February 17, 1966 The medal was granted in three classes:
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold

Meritorious Military Pilot of the GDR
(Verdienter Militärflieger der DDR)
August 1, 1974

Medal of Merit of the National People's Army
(Verdienstmedaille der Nationalen Volksarmee)
1956-06-01 The medal was granted in three classes:
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold

Medal Brotherhood in Arms
{Medaille der Waffenbrüderschaft)
1966-02-17 The medal was granted in three classes:
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold

Medal For Faithful Service in the National People’s Army
(Medaille für treue Dienste in der Nationalen Volksarmee)
  • 5 years service (bronze)
  • 10 years service (silver)
  • 15 years service (gold)
  • 20 years service (gold) with colored flags on the medal and Roman numerals XX on the ribbon
Medal for Exemplary Border Service
(Medaille für vorbildlichen Grenzdienst der Grenztruppen der DDR)


  1. ^ Medals of East Germany
  2. ^ East German Medals

External links

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