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Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1949-Present From West Germany through to the modern reunified German Republic.

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BRK awards
Old 03-14-2019, 12:17 PM   #1
HPL2008
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Default BRK awards

Following up on my thread about cloth Insignia of the DRK (which, thanks to Gordon's contributions, nicely grew to cover a wide range of uniform items as well), I would like to present some awards of the German Red Cross, more specifically awards of the Bavarian Red Cross [Bayerisches Rotes Kreuz or BRK for short].

Let's start with the Verdienstmedaille der Sanitätskolonne des Bayerischen Roten Kreuzes [Medal for Merit of the Sanitätskolonne of the Bavarian Red Cross], awarded from 1978 to 1995.

"Sanitätskolonne" could roughly be translated as "Medical Column" and was the designation for the basic, local-level unit. Initially, these were all-male units, whereas women served in seperate Frauenbereitschaften [roughly "Women's Readiness Units"]. When I joined the BRK back in 1990, this separation was actually still in place, although it was abolished soon after, with mixed units becoming the norm.

The medal was awarded to active members who had particulary proven themselves on everyday duty and kept rendering exceptionally meritorious volunteer services. It came in three grades, Bronze, Silver and Gold. These were awarded successively, with only the highest grade worn.

Note the loop at the top of the ribbon: The medal was worn buttoned under the flap of the left breast pocket of the grey tunic. (At least officially, the full-size medal was to be worn only for special occasions; otherwise it was to be represented by the ribbon bar. A stickpin for civilian wear was available as well.)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BRK_VerdMed_Kolonnen_1.JPG (164.2 KB, 104 views)
File Type: jpg BRK_VerdMed_Kolonnen_2.JPG (192.7 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg BRK_VerdMed_Kolonnen_3.JPG (174.7 KB, 96 views)
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:24 PM   #2
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The former Sanitätskolonnen were re-designated as Bereitschaften [roughly "Readiness Units"] in the 1990s, and the above medals were replaced by the new Ehrenzeichen der BRK-Bereitschaften [Decoration of the BRK Bereitschaften] in 1995. This award was a pinback badge worn on the lower left breast of the service dress. (The former attachment method wouldn't have worked with the new service dress anyway, as it included a civilian-style suitcoat.) The three grades were retained.

Here are the Bronze and Silver grade; I don't have a specimen of the gold grade (yet):
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BRK_EZ_Bereitsch_1.jpg (131.7 KB, 95 views)
File Type: jpg BRK_EZ_Bereitsch_2.jpg (134.6 KB, 95 views)
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:37 PM   #3
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Next, the Ehrennadel des BRK [Honor Pin of the BRK].

This is both awarded as a Zeitauszeichnung [long service award] and as a Verdienstauszeichnung [award for merit], both of which come in two grades - Silver and Gold - and in the form of a full-size pin, a ribbon bar and a civilian miniature pin.

The Verdienstauszeichnung is awarded for particular (silver) or exceptional (gold) achievements far beyond the scope of regular service.

The Zeitauszeichnung is awarded for 25 (silver) and 40 (gold) years of service. It is distinguished from the Verdienstauszeichnung by a "25" and "40" on the wreath and a black, rather than blue ribbon bar.

Again, only the highest grade of each category is worn.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BRK-Ehrennadel_DA_1.JPG (193.5 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg BRK-Ehrennadel_DA_2.JPG (216.6 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg BRK-Ehrennadel_VA_1.JPG (171.9 KB, 97 views)

Last edited by HPL2008; 03-14-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:43 PM   #4
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Now for the Leistungsabzeichen des BRK [Proficiency Badge of the BRK] (this one is also awarded by a few other DRK state-level organistions).

The badge comes in three grades - Bronze, Silver and Gold - which are awarded successively. Each grade requires a written and practical knowledge- and skill test of increasing difficulty, with a minium of 2 years having to pass before taking the test for the next-higher grade.

Examples for the full-size badge as worn on the left breast of the service dress. As usual, only the highest grade is worn and it also comes as a ribbon bar and civilian-wear miniature.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BRK_LeistAbz_1.JPG (172.7 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg BRK_LeistAbz_2.JPG (167.3 KB, 99 views)
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:49 PM   #5
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A humble ribbon-only award, the Fluthelfer-Ehrenzeichen der BRK-Bereitschaften [Flood Helper Decoration of the BRK-Bereitschaften], awarded to personnel serving in the relief operations for the 2002 floods:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FluthEZ_BRK-Ber_1.JPG (162.3 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg FluthEZ_BRK-Ber_2.JPG (181.6 KB, 99 views)
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:52 PM   #6
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Next, the Ehrenzeichen des Freistaates Bayern für Verdienste um das BRK [Decoration of the Free State of Bavaria for Service to the BRK].

Instituted in 1957, the decoration is awarded both as a long service award [Zeitauszeichnung] for unpaid volunteer service and a decoration for merit [Verdienstauszeichnung]. The long service awards are worn on ribbons; the decoration for merit is a pinback cross [Steckkreuz].

All are in the shape of a flared cross with a circular center medaillon bearing the Red Cross emblem on a white field with a blue border and bear the lesser coat-of-arms [Kleines Staatswappen] of the State of Bavaria in the top arm. Unlike the other awards, decorations and badges of the Bavarian Red Cross itself (including all of the ones shown above), this is an official decoration of the State of Bavaria (awards are made by the Bavarian Minister of the Interior) and thus authorized for wear on military uniform as well.

The first model long service award (from 1957 to 1972) came in three grades: Bronze for 25 years of service, silver for 40 years and gold for 50 years. As alway, only the highest grade of the award was and is to be worn:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg EZ_BY_Verd_BRK_1_Ausfhrg-1.JPG (206.0 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg EZ_BY_Verd_BRK_1_Ausfhrg-2.JPG (188.7 KB, 99 views)
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:55 PM   #7
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In 1972, the 50-year award was abolished, as was the bronze grade. Thus, the 25-year award was now elevated to silver and the 40-year award to gold.

Of course, those who had already been awarded a first model 50-year award could continue to wear it, while those who had held a 25-year grade in bronze could "upgrade" to the 25-year grade in silver and those who had held a 40-year grade in silver could "upgrade" to the 40-year grade in gold.

The grades were altered once again in 2018, when a 50-year grade was reinstituted, now designated as "Großes Ehrenzeichen" ["Grand Decoration"]. (I don't have an example of that one yet. It has an added laurel wreath between the arms of the cross and a ribbon with 5 white and 4 blue stripes, evenly spaced and of identical width.)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg EZ_BY_Verd_BRK_2_Ausfhrg-1.JPG (235.9 KB, 109 views)
File Type: jpg EZ_BY_Verd_BRK_2_Ausfhrg-2.jpg (136.6 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg EZ_BY_Verd_BRK_2_Ausfhrg-3.JPG (202.6 KB, 107 views)

Last edited by HPL2008; 03-14-2019 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:57 PM   #8
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Civilian-wear lapel bows:
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File Type: jpg EZ_BY_Verd_BRK_2_Ausfhrg_Schleifen-1.JPG (148.8 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg EZ_BY_Verd_BRK_2_Ausfhrg_Schleifen-2.JPG (109.2 KB, 106 views)
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:01 PM   #9
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The pinback cross is awarded for particularly meritorious achievements in the interest of the Bavarian Red Cross. High standards are to be applied for an award of this decoration and the award proposals (submitted by the President of the Bavarian Red Cross to the Bavarian Minister of the Interior) have to describe the prospective recipients' achievements in detail.

The full-size cross, as well as a two-place stickpin for the Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes [Decoration of the German Red Cross] together with the Bavarian pinback cross decoration, and a single stickpin for the latter:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg EZ_BY_Verd_BRK_StKr-1.JPG (218.2 KB, 111 views)
File Type: jpg EZ_BY_Verd_BRK_StKr-2.jpg (175.2 KB, 108 views)
File Type: jpg EZ_DRK-BRK_Ansteckn-1.jpg (107.8 KB, 108 views)
File Type: jpg EZ_DRK-BRK_Ansteckn-2.jpg (123.5 KB, 109 views)
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:42 PM   #10
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A few ribbon bars.

I have already shown the first one in the "1957er" section. It was worn by a WW2 veteran who also had a long and highly distinguished service history as a volunteer in the Bavarian Red Cross.

The ribbons are:
  • Verdienstmedaille des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland [Medal for Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany]
  • Eisernes Kreuz I. Klasse [Iron Cross 1st Class]
  • Verwundetenabzeichen in Silber [Wound Badge in Silver]
  • Ehrenzeichen des DRK [Decoration of the German Red Cross]
  • Ehrenzeichen des Freistaats Bayern für Verdienste um das BRK, Klasse 1 [Decoration of the Free State of Bavaria for Service to the BRK, Class 1 (i.e. for 40 years of service)]
  • Ehrennadel des BRK (Verdienstauszeichnung) [Honor Pin of the Bavarian Red Cross (Award for Merit)]
  • Verdienstmedaille der Sanitätskolonne des Bayerischen Roten Kreuzes in Bronze [Medal for Merit of the Sanitätskolonne of the Bavarian Red Cross]
  • BRK-Leistungsabzeichen in Gold [Bavarian Red Cross Proficiency Badge in Gold]
  • Auszeichnungsspange für 40 Jahre [Award Bar for 40 years]

Note that the first ribbon is "homemade". This is actually the small-size ribbon bar intended for civilian wear that was attached to the neutral black underlay normally used for 1957er pinback awards.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BRK-Bandspange_1.JPG (102.3 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg BRK-Bandspange_2.JPG (79.3 KB, 104 views)

Last edited by HPL2008; 03-14-2019 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:54 PM   #11
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This four-place bar was included in a grouping of Red Cross decorations that (according to the product description on eBay) were those of the seller's grandfather.

The decorations are:
  • BRK-Leistungsabzeichen in Silber [Bavarian Red Cross Proficiency Badge in Silver]
  • Ehrenzeichen des Freistaats Bayern für Verdienste um das BRK, Klasse 2 [Decoration of the Free State of Bavaria for Service to the BRK, Class 2 (i.e. for 25 years of service)]
  • Verdienstmedaille der Sanitätskolonne des Bayerischen Roten Kreuzes in Bronze [Medal of Merit of the Sanitätskolonne of the Bavarian Red Cross]
  • Auszeichnungsspange für 40 Jahre [Award Bar for 40 years]

Also included were the bars for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 35 years (the 30-year grade is missing). All pieces are in heavily worn condition:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BRK_Nachlass_1.JPG (159.7 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg BRK_Nachlass_2.JPG (81.9 KB, 104 views)
File Type: jpg BRK_Nachlass_3.JPG (100.5 KB, 105 views)
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:01 PM   #12
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And finally, my own humble bar.
  • Ehrenzeichen der BRK-Bereitschaften in Bronze [Decoration of the BRK-Bereitschaften in Bronze]
  • BRK-Leistungsabzeichen in Bronze [Bavarian Red Cross Proficiency Badge in Bronze]
  • Auszeichnungsspange für 15 Jahre [Award Bar for 15 years]
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DRK_Bandspange.JPG (111.8 KB, 106 views)

Last edited by HPL2008; 03-14-2019 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:32 PM   #13
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HPL;
Too bad there's not a ribbon awarded for making exellent threads,cause you'd deserve it .
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:12 AM   #14
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HPL2008,

I second chiffonier's comments. This is an excellent, and very time consuming, thread to post. Thanks for providing something that is such a great reference. The only badge I was familiar with are those in post #4. Unfortunately, I can not add anything to your thread since the only BRK badge that I have I already posted on the DRK thread that you started.

Regards,

Gordon
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:30 PM   #15
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Thanks for the kind words; it is good to see the interest in what is a bit of a niche when it comes to collecting.

I have one more addtion for now (it has only arrived yesterday).

The Plakette für treue Dienste in der Sanitätskolonne des Bayerischen Roten Kreuzes [Badge for faithful service in the Sanitätskolonne of the Bavarian Red Cross] was awarded from ca. 1954 to 1978, when it was replaced by the medal seen in post # 1.

It, too, came in three grades - Bronze, Silver and Gold. The badge can be found with the two metal loops on the back seen on this silver-grade specimen (apparently, it was to be sewn to the uniform) as well as with a pin assembly (which may be a later version):
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File Type: jpg Plak_trD_SanKol_1.JPG (149.9 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg Plak_trD_SanKol_2.JPG (147.9 KB, 91 views)
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