Medaille für Rettung aus Gefahr, a.k.a. Rettungsmedaille

Medal For Saving From Danger, a.k.a. Lifesaving Medal

The medal was initially instituted in 1868 by the ruler of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen Prince (Fürst) Günther Friedrich Carl II von Schwarzburg-Sondershausen (24.09.1801 – 15.09.1889) in one class only and was the highest award to its subjects for heroic deeds during saving others' lives from danger. Lifesaving Medal made of silver was 24 mm in diameter and weighed 6,3 g approximately.

An obverse had a monogram of the prince Günther Friedrich Carl II made of three intertwined letters "G", "F" and "C".

Its reverse carried a centered horizontal inscription “For Saving From Danger” (“Für Rettung aus Gefahr”) executed in capital letters and running in four lines. The legend was encircled by a wide oakleaf wreath with four large laurel leaves in its left, right, upper and lower parts.

The medal had a non-hallmarked silver suspension ring inserted into a suspender ring mounted perpendicularly to the medal. 

Golden yellow ribbon was made of silk and had a fine weave with an intricate weft design.

Medal For Saving From Danger, 1868 type was awarded in 1868-1880 during the reign of Günther Friedrich Carl II (19.08.1835 – 17.07.1880). The medal was awarded without certificate though it was announced in the Principality of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen Cabinet Orders and very often in various local newspapers. Due to small amount of accidents very few medals had been awarded. It appears that at least four firefighters were decorated for the bravery.

After an abdication of Günther Friedrich Carl II on July 17, 1880 the throne was inherited by his son, Karl Günther von Schwarzburg-Sondershausen (07.08.1830 – 28.03.1909).

The new design of that award was introduced in 1890 and is generally known as “Karl Günther Rettungsmedaille”. It had different design of an obverse and was bigger in size. Its obverse had a bust of Karl Günther facing right encircled by his title “Karl Günther Fürst z. Schwarzb. Sondershausen” executed in capital letters. A reverse remained the same.

Rettungmedaille, 1890 type had a diameter of 30 mm, weighed 14 g and was made of silver. Silver suspender ring was mounted perpendicularly to the medal holding a silver suspension ring. 

Golden yellow silk ribbon was 32 mm wide.

Medal For Saving From Danger, 1890 type was awarded in 1890-1898.

Design of the medal was slightly changed in 1898 – lower right part of the Prince’s neck on obverse was made bigger and nearly touched the edge.

The highest, 1st class of the Lifesaving medal was also instituted in 1898. It was made of gold and reserved for those committing repeated acts of heroism. Diameter of medal remained the same but its weight was slightly heavier.

Medal For Saving From Danger, 1898 type was awarded in 1890-1898. Decorations with the gold medal are not documentary proven and only nine silver medals are believed to be awarded.

Total number of awards with the Medal For Saving From Danger of all three types doesn’t exceed 100 pieces. Moreover it’s not exactly known whether all of the medals were awarded or part of them were never issued.  


Rettungsmedaille Schwarzburg 1