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Ehrenmünze der Volksspende für vertriebene Auslanddeutsche

 Honorary Medal for Public Donations to Displaced Germans

Honorary Medal was issued in 1919 by the Returnees Welfare Society (Rückwandererhilfe e.V. [eingetragener Verein]), charity body that provided assistance in 1919-1923 to former German subjects who returned home having found themselves abroad after the victorious powers (the USA, Great Britain, France and other allied states) have imposed harsh punitive territorial provisions on Germany that was declared defeated. According to the Treaty of Versaille, signed on June 28, 1919 and which became effective on January 10, 1920, Germany lost not only its overseas colonies, but 65,000 square km, or nearly 13% of its mainland territory populated by ca. 7,3 million people, of which slightly less than half were Germans. Thus, Germany was made to cede its various parts and renounce all rights and title over territories transferred to Belgium (Eupen and Malmedy), Denmark (Northern Schleswig), France (Alsace-Lorraine), Lithuania (Memel), as well to newly created independent states of Czechoslovakia (Hultschin district) and Poland (West Prussia and Silesia). The largely German city of Danzig became a free city under the protection of the League of Nations; control of the Saar was ceded to the League of Nations for fifteen years. Millions of German nationals were placed under foreign rule in a hostile environment, where violation of rights and harassment were simple nasty reality.

The board of the Returnees Welfare Society was located at Tauentzienstraße 6, Berlin W.50; several offices were opened across the country. Rückwandererhilfe e.V. carried out numerous charitable actions in favor of displaced compatriots with a slogan “German Helps Germans” (“Deutsche helft Deutschen”), produced and sold illustrated postcards, tokens, badges and medals.

An obverse of the Ehrenmünze der Volksspende für vertriebene Auslanddeutsche with raised border showed German family: young woman with child in her arms, and her husband in the background carrying walking stick. Inscription “Dispaced!” (“Vertrieben!”) is separated by that composition, with “Ver=” placed on the left and “trieben!” on the right.

A reverse with raised border bore name of the medal in five horizontal lines: “Ehrenmünze / der Volksspende / für vertriebene / Auslanddeutsche”. Decorative elements were placed below and above the inscription. Name of the Welfare Society as well as the year the medal was issued were placed in two lines at the lower part of the reverse: “Rückwandererhilfe / 1919”.

Two variants of the Ehrenmünze der Volksspende für vertriebene Auslanddeutsche were minted: table medal measuring 40 mm in diameter and weighing 31,15 g, and portable medal measuring 20,53 mm and weighing 19,85 g. Both medals were minted of bronze and had silvered surface.

Apart from size and weight, table and portable variants differed in that the former had name of the medallist – “F.Haberl” – placed at the lower right part of the obverse, adjacent to the border.

Honorary Medal for Public Donations 1