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Gedenkmünze für Oberschlesien

Upper Silesia Commemorative Medal

Upper Silesia Commemorative Medal was instituted in 1926 by an association “Verband “Bund Oberland”. This veterans organization was formed on December 12, 1921 and joined former fighters of the Freikorps Oberland that had been created on April 12, 1919 and disbanded in June 1921. The initiative belonged to Hauptmann Ludwig Oestreicher (1886-19??), commander of Bataillon Sturmfahne Teja (named after Teia, the last king of the Ostrogoths), one of the three battalions of Freikorps Oberland in its final stage of existence within May-June 1921.

All the former fighters of the Bataillon Sturmfahne Teja were eligible for this medal that commemorated their military merits during fighting in Upper Silesia in May 1921.

Its obverse bears a Silesian coat of arms in form of an eagle with a crescent and surmounted cross on its breast gripping a ribbon in its claws with an inscription “For Silesia” (“Für Schlesien”). Due to its design this medal is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a “Silesian Eagle 3rd Class”.

Reverse of a medal had a horizontal inscription in capital letters “For Merits in Upper Silesia” (“Für Verdienste um Oberschlesien”) running in four lines with an eight-pointed star below. The whole composition is framed by two branches that make ¾ of the whole height crossing at the bottom – olive at the left and oak at the right.

Upper Silesia Commemorative Medal was struck of light bronze and had an oval shape, 37x38 mm. The only manufacturer of this award is known.

The medal was worn suspended from a yellow silk ribbon with central wide white stripe and three thin black-white-red 4 mm stripes at both edges.

The medal was awarded in 1926-1928 while some sources indicate that presentation of the decoration continued till 1933. Approximately 300 Upper Silesia Commemorative Medal were issued but exact number is not known yet.

WR_freikorps_4  Upper Silesia 01