Original German post WW2 / 1957 pattern miniature medal for chain mounting: Life Saving Medal (Rettungsmedaille), IN PERFECT CONDITION, A VERY GOOD DETAILED EXAMPLE WITH PERFECT FINISH, A VERY RARE MINIATURE, SIZE: cca 16 mm
FEW FACTS ABOUT 1957 PATTERN AWARDS:
In 1957 the West German government authorised replacement Iron Crosses with an Oak Leaf Cluster in place of the swastika, similar to the Iron Crosses of 1813, 1870, and 1914, which could be worn by World War II Iron Cross recipients. The 1957 law also authorised de-Nazified versions of most other World War II–era decorations (except those specifically associated with Nazi Party organizations, such as SS Long Service medals, or with the expansion of the German Reich, such as the medals for the annexation of Austria, the Sudetenland, and the Memel region). The main government contract to manufacture and supply these new de-nazified WW2 1957 official decorations went to the world famous German firm Steinhauer & Lueck, Luedenscheid Germany. Knights Crosses, Iron Crosses , Wound Badges, Tank Assault Badges etc were re-designed by Steinhauer & Lück - often with the oak-leaf spray replacing the swastika, with S&L having the sole patent rights to all WW2 1957 German decorations. S&L did not have the whole monopoly on medal making, other famous firms such as Deschler & Sohn, BH Maher and Juncker also manufactured these new German decorations. Lüdenscheid is situated between the cities Dortmund and Bonn. It was here that one of the youngest medal firms was founded in 1889 by August Steinhauer and Gustav Adolf Lück. The first production began in a cellar, the customer base continued to increase. A property was bought at 51 Hochstrasse which is still home for this famous company today. During WW2 Steinhauer & Lück produced medals and badges, like the famous Knights Cross and many other types of medals and badges. In 1957 this company was awarded the contract to produce all the newly re-designed legal WW2 1957 de-nazified decorations, plus the contract to manufacture all of Germany's official decorations including Germany's highest order the Bundesverdienstkreuz. Only a very limited number of original WW2 1957 medals are still produced, mainly Iron Crosses, German Cross Gold & Silver & Wound Badges and are considered 100% genuine by the German Government.
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
Life Saving Medal - Prussia's silver Rettungsmedaille (Lifesaving Medal) was originally established on 13 August 1833 by King Friedrich Wilhelm III. They abolished all previous lifesaving medals and had the Prussian medal redesigned, now with an eagle on the obverse, but still very similar to the 1833 medal (which was 100 years old at that moment). This was the first and only time that there was one national lifesaving medal for the entire country. Again, a larger table medal was awarded for saving a life when there had been less risk of life to the hero. The medal was instituted in 1933, the diameter is 29 mm. There was also a larger, non-wearable lifesaving medal second class. The silver, maker-marked (wearable) lifesaving medal is mainly a pre-war, civilian award. During WW2, soldiers or civilians who saved a life were awarded the iron cross, the war merit cross or the larger, non-wearable lifesaving medal second class (which is much more common than the wearable medal). Non-silver wearable lifesaving medals without maker mark were produced after 1939 as replacement pieces or to put on medal bars.