Medaille zum Gedenken an den Beginn des Weltkrieges

Medal Commemorating Outbreak of the World War

Design of the table medal was elaborated by the German medalist F.Beyer who created numerous commercial medals in early 1930s commemorating assumption of power of the National Socialist party.

An obverse with raised border showed bust of a lower rank of Reichsheer facing left (or right from the heraldic perspective) wearing M1916 steel helmet. Two dates were placed on each side of a soldier: “1914” at the left and “1934” at the right. Well-drawn assault group of helmeted German Imperial soldiers rushing to the attack and ignoring enemy fire was depicted at the upper part of the background. Name of the medallist – “F.Beyer” – was placed in semicircle between soldier’s shoulder and date “1934”. 

A reverse showed quotation from the book by Adolf Hitler “Mein Kampf” (Volume 1, Chapter 5 “The World War”) executed in Gothic lettering and running in ten horizontal lines: “Thousands of years may pass, but never will it be possible to speak of heroism without mentioning the German army and the World War. Adolf Hitler” (“Mögen Jahrtausende vergehen, so wird man nie von Heldentum reden und sagen dürfen, ohne des deutschen Heeres des Weltkrieges zu gedenken. Adolf Hitler”). Inscription was surrounded by an oak-leaf wreath with a single vertical acorn at the bottom. Interesting to know that quotation cited above but without indication of the authorship could be found at the back side of a War Dead Monument (Kriegerdenkmal) erected in the German town of Kalkar situated in North Rhine-Westphalia. 

Edge of the medal was inscribed “Sächs. Münze 999f” in capital letters.

Circular medal measuring 36,3 or 36,4 mm in diameter and weighing 20,29 g was minted of silver.

Heroic and laconic design of the medal was acknowledged to be successful to such an extent that one year later its pattern without any alteration was used by F.Beyer in designing of another commemorative table medal dedicated to the creation of the German Armed forces, i.e. the Wehrmacht. The sole difference between two medals was replacement of two dates on obverse, “1914” and “1934” by a single date “16.3.” at the left of the bust and “1935” at the right. Circular medal measuring  36,3 or 36,4 mm in diameter and weighing ca. 20 g was minted of silver. Its edge bore inscription “835 Pr. Münze Berlin” in capital letters.

Medal Commemorating Outbreak of World War 1