Original German post WW2 miniature medal for chain mounting: RAD LONG SERVICE LABOR MEDAL IN BRONZE / 1957 version - no swastika, MINT CONDITION - VERY NICE DETAILED EXAMPLE, 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:
RAD LONG SERVICE LABOR MEDAL - The Reichsarbeitsdienst (or RAD, Reich Labour Service) was an institution established by Nazi Germany as an agency to reduce unemployment, similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the United States. During the Second World War it was an auxiliary formation which provided support for the Wehrmacht. The RAD was formed during July 1934 as the official state labour service. The RAD was an amalgamation of the many labour organisations formed in Germany during the times of the Weimar Republic. RAD members were to provide service for various civic, military and agricultural construction projects. Konstantin Hierl was its director during the organization's entire lifetime. This is a WWII Long Service award of the National Labor Service (RAD) silver medal. The award consisted of an oakleaf garland, framed oval medal, bearing the RAD symbol which was a spade with a swastika and two corn ears. The back of the medal bore the inscription "For faithful service in the Reich Labor Corps". The medal was awarded in four different grades: 4th Grade / Bronze, for 4 years of service, 3rd Grade / Silver, for 12 years of service, 2nd Grade / Silver with interleaved national insignia on the ribbon in silver, for 18 years of service and 1st Grade Gold with interleaved national insignia on ribbon in gold for 25 years of service. Upon receipt of a higher grade, the lower grade was removed.