Original post WW2 Austria Republic Heimwehr Medal of Merit - Starhemberg Vogel with July bar (Heimwehr-Ehrenzeichen / Starhembergvogel mit der Julispange), IN EXCELLENT CONDITION, ON VERY LONG GENUINE RIBBON, A VERY FINE EXAMPLE WITH BEAUTIFUL FINISH, A VERY RARE AWARD
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
Austrian Heimwehr Medal of Merit - Starhemberg Vogel with July bar (Heimwehr-Ehrenzeichen / Starhembergvogel mit der Julispange), 1934 - Silvered bronze medal in the form of an eagle with eyelet and loop for ribbon suspension; the face with an Austrian helmet imposed on crossed swords; the reverse inscribed 'II 1934' (February 1934) and signed 'H. GNAD' (for Hans Gnad of Vienna) with 'July' silvered bronze bar (the 'Julispange') with crossed swords and an Austrian helmet imposed, laurel borders above and below, silvering worn. The medal was awarded to members of the Heimwehr (Austrian Home Defence Force) who distinguished themselves in the suppression of the Socialist and Communist uprising in Vienna in February 1934. It derives its name from Ernst Rü'diger, Fürst (Prince) von Starhemberg (1899-1956), leader of the Heimwehr. The Heimwehr was a right-wing paramilitary force that emerged from the chaos of World War I and played a significant part in Austrian politics until dissolved in 1936. Fürst von Starhemberg led an extraordinary life. A participant in the Munich Putsch in 1923, he later broke with the German right wing in favour of an independent totalitarian Austrian state. He was leader of the Vaterländische (Fatherland) Front coalition of right-wing Austrian parties from 1934 to 1936, becoming vice-Chancellor and Minister of Security. He was forced to resign in 1936 and lived in Argentina from 1942 to 1955, returning to Austria in that year. The 'July' bar was awarded to members of the Heimwehr who successfully resisted the German right wing attempted coup that followed their assassination of Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss on 25 July 1934.