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March 13, 1938 Austrian Anchluss Medal
March 13, 1938 Austrian Anchluss Medal: Silver plated alloy, 32 mm, ribbed rayon ribbon with suspension pin, beautiful color, toning, and fields, very light wear.
Instituted on May 1, 1938, the medal commemorated the return of Austria, Hitler’s homeland, into the German Reich. German troops crossed the border on March 12, 1938 with no resistance following a series of "incidents" provoked by National Socialists in Austria and various ultimatums by Germany. This first action, while perhaps raising suspicions, did not cause general alarm in the world community. After all, it seemed to be done by choice of the Austrian people who were German speaking.
This award, called the first "Anschluss medal," was awarded to all Austrian NSDAP members and any Austrian who helped or participated in the annexation. It was also awarded to German State officials and members of the German Army and SS who marched into Austria.
The Medal was based on the 1938 Party Day Badge. The obverse featured a naked athelete holding a swastika flag (Germany) helping another with broken shackles (Austrians) onto a podium sporting the Wehrmacht Eagle which represented the Greater German Reich. The slogan "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer" (One people, One State, One Leader) was a favorite nazi propaganda slogan used repeatedly in Hitler’s speeches to promote the unification of all Germans back into the nation. Presentations were stopped on Dec 13, 1940 with 318,689 medals awarded.
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