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DRK Awards

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    Like many other Red Cross organisations the world over, the DRK honors blood donors with wearable awards, known as Blutspendeehrenadeln [Blood Donation Honor Pins].

    The lowest grades are for 3 and then 6 donations. They are then awarded in various steps (5, 15 or 25) for up to 300 donations.

    It's a bit complicated: While these pins are awarded by all DRK state-level organisatons, not all grades are awarded by all of them.

    Since 1999, the DRK's general sequence for these awards has been: 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, 275 and 300.

    Prior to this, additional lower grades had existed, which are still awarded by some state-level organisations, so as to motivate new donors.

    Thus, for example, the BRK awards the following grades: 3, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, 275 and 300, whereas Thuringia uses this sequence: 3, 6, 10, 15, 25, 40, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150 and 175. In North Rhine-Westphalia, a more elaborate version with diamonds is awarded from 50 donations upwards.

    The pins are worn as pinback badges or stickpins on the left lapel of civilian clothing; the grades from 25 upwards are also available as miniature pendants for wear on medal chains. With DRK service dress, the blood donor pins are worn as ribbon bars.

    I don't have the full range of pins, but these will give you a good idea:
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    Last edited by HPL2008; 03-17-2019, 12:13 PM.


      The last award we will be looking at today is something a bit different: The Deutsches Rettungsschwimmabzeichen [literally "German Rescue Swimming Badge", but perhaps better translated as "German Lifeguard Badge"].

      Currently, three organisations are officially authorized to undertake qualification tests for and awards of the badge: The Deutsche Lebensrettungsgesellschaft (DLRG) [German Lifesaving Association], the Wasserwacht [Water Rescue Service, which is a division of the DRK and , most recently, the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland (ASB) [Workers' Samaritan Foundation Germany]. Each organisation awards its own unique design of the badge. I'll only cover the Wasserwacht version here.

      The badge comes in three grades - bronze, silver and gold - which can only be attained successively, with increasingly higher requirements for each grade. The requirements are standardized and identical between the three organisations.

      The bronze grade is the basic-level qualification badge and an entry requirement for several state police forces. All Wasserwacht life guards have to qualify at least for the silver grade. The silver and gold grades are officially recognized as decorations and are authorized for wear on military (and other) uniforms, which is why only these two grades are also available as full-size badges and ribbon bars. (All three grades are available as civilian miniatures and cloth badges for wear on sports clothing.)

      Here is the full-size badge in silver and gold:


      Last edited by HPL2008; 10-01-2020, 02:42 PM.


        Ribbon bars for the silver and gold grade:


        Last edited by HPL2008; 10-01-2020, 02:35 PM.


          Some civilian-wear stickpins:




          Last edited by HPL2008; 10-01-2020, 02:38 PM.


            A three place civilian-wear stickpin showing the Wasserwacht-model DRSA in silver together with the Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr in Gold [Honor Cross of the Bundeswehr in Gold] and the Deutsches Sportabzeichen in Gold [German Sports Badge in Gold]:


            Last edited by HPL2008; 10-01-2020, 02:43 PM.


              And the last addition for today, the cloth version of all three grades:


              Last edited by HPL2008; 10-01-2020, 02:43 PM.


                You make wikipedia look like a pop-up ad.
                Another great reference thread for the future.
                I've come across those blood donation pins often en some are in actual 925 silver .
                I found a few in 8 karat gold as well.
                The ruby stones in the centre are chosen for a reason I'm guessing.
                Every stone or gem has its healing powers they say and for ruby that is blood circulation and strenght against exhaustion (among other qualities)
                That is,if you believe in that stuff.
                My father always had a chesnut in his pocket for the same purpose.
                I believe in the powers of a thick bundle of cash in my pocket to make me feel good.
                all the best,



                  an addition to the blood donation pins.

                  On silver and silver gilded pieces we can find three different silver contents: 835, 925 and 935.

                  On gold pieces we can find: 333 and 585.
                  I have one cross for 40 donations, where the cross is in 585 gold and the wreath is in 333 gold.

                  The center stones are: Rubin, Granat or Rhodolith

                  The diamonds on the higher pieces (50 and up) are simple diamonds (Diamant 8/8) or Brilliants with a better cut.



                    Here is a high and rather rare award of the DRK, the Leistungsspange des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes [Achievement Clasp of the German Red Cross].

                    Instituted in 1964, this clasp is awarded by the President of the DRK for particular personal achievements above and beyond the call of duty for which no other German award or decoration has been bestowed. This may be during a single mission - such as work under particularly difficult conditions in a disaster relief operation or a rescue undertaken at the risk of one's own life - or on general Red Cross duty.
                    Silver is for "exemplary, outstanding achievements", gold for "exemplary, extraordinary achievements". Generally, the two classes are to be awarded successively, although a direct award of the gold grade is possible in exceptional cases.

                    This is the only award that is authorized for wear on work-/field uniforms, on which it may be worn in embroidered form only (which is also why it is the only award for which a cloth version exists).

                    I don't own a metal version of this clasp yet (they rarely come up for sale), but can present the cloth version.

                    Top to bottom: Silver grade in hand embroidery on black backing , silver grade in machine embroidery on dark green backing with press-stud fasteners, silver and gold grade in machine embroidery on grey backing. The second piece is unusual in that the German Red Cross has never used green uniforms, which is why I wonder if this was worn on the uniform of some other organisation.
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                    Last edited by HPL2008; 07-13-2019, 09:23 AM.


                      An additional view of the hand-embroidered silver clasp. Incidentally, I can't help but notice a stylistic similiarity to the WW2-era Close Combat Clasp:
                      Attached Files


                        Just in is this nice cased example of the Ehrenzeichen der Wasserwacht des DRK-Bundesverbandes in Gold [Water Rescue Service Decoration of the National Association of the German Red Cross in Gold].

                        The second-highed honor of the Wasserwacht (after the Ehrenmitgliedschaft [Honorary Memebership]), this decoration is awarded for merit in the interest of the organisation on a national level.
                        It comes in two grades: Silver is for special merit, gold is for extraordinary, outstanding and repeated merit. Generally, the grades are to be awarded successively. Direct awards of the gold grade were permitted in the year of the award's institution and the following year, but are now reserved for exceptional cases. Holders of the silver and gold decorations are to wear the gold one only.

                        The decoration is presented in a set consisting of the full-size award, a ribbon bar and two differently sized stickpins for for civilian wear. Seen below is the first model of this award, used from the 1960s to 1979. The second model (1979 to 2012) had dark blue instead of white enamel work; for the third model (since 2012) the letters "DRK" were added to the top part. The silver grade has a silver laurel wreath; the other parts are gilt as in the gold grade.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by HPL2008; 08-03-2019, 07:46 AM.


                          Very nice award and cased as well. Thanks for the pics and the explanation of how it was awarded.




                            I finally found myself an example of the Leistungsspange in Gold (see posts no. 24/25) in the metal version.

                            Maker's mark is for M. & E. Fischer of Beuel on the Rhine (Beuel is a municipal district of Bonn). Note that the embroidered version is considerably larger than the metal one:
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by HPL2008; 09-13-2019, 10:24 AM.


                              Although they are not actually awards per se, i decided to add these brooches to the thread as well.

                              Brooches of the German Red Cross are a complicated subject as there were many differences between the various state-level organisations as well as changes over time.

                              The brooches seen below are of a long-running, but still-current pattern as worn by female DRK volunteers. (Or technically current: They are still pictured and described in the 2007 uniform regulations, but only briefly mentioned in the 2014 ones. I doubt that they are widely worn nowadays.) They indicate the wearer's qualification- and assignment level.

                              The circular badges in the top row are, from left to right:
                              • no outer border = member with basic first-aid training
                              • silver lettering and outer border = member with completed specialist training (medical-, technical-, signals service etc.) or equivalent qualification and duty assignment on local- or county-level.
                              • gold lettering and outer border = member with completed specialist training (medical-, technical-, signals service etc.) or equivalent qualification and duty assignment on district-, state- or national level.

                              The oval badge is for qualified state-examined professionals [examinierte Fachkräfte], i.e. nurses etc.

                              The first and last badge bear the maker's mark for W. Biedermann of Asbach:


                              Last edited by HPL2008; 10-01-2020, 02:43 PM.


                                Here are some badges for the Leistungsvergleich [Proficiency Competition] held by the DRK-Landesverband Baden-Württemberg in 1974, 1976 and 1980.

                                I don't know how long these have been issued, but have seen them for various years from the 1960s to the 1980s as well as badges for an "EH-Wettbewerb" [First Aid Contest] that are identical except for the inscription.

                                The badges are of nice, heavy quality (which is why I tend to believe that they were presented to successful participants rather than being mere day badges) and bear the maker's mark for Alois Rettenmaier of Schwäbisch Gmünd:
                                Attached Files


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