Jerusalem Cross (Prussia)
The Jerusalem Cross or Jerusalem Memorial Cross was a decoration of Prussia established 31 October 1898. The cross was awarded to those who traveled with Emperor Wilhelm II on his 1898 visit to Palestine and attended the inauguration of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, the Jerusalem Cross is made in the shape of the Jerusalem cross. The cross consists of a large cross portent with four plain crosslets between the arms, the crosses are red enameled with silver-gilt borders. In the center of the cross is a gold colored medallion. The obverse side, the medallion depicts the Imperial Crown of the Prussian German Emperor surmounting the letters IR over the royal cypher of a stylized W II, the reverse of the medallion bears the date 31 October 1898. This date is depicted using a large Roman numeral X in the center for October, to the left is MDCCC and to the right side IIC for the year 1898
Order of the Black Eagle
The Order of the Black Eagle was the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia. The order was founded on 17 January 1701 by Elector Friedrich III of Brandenburg, in his Dutch exile after World War I, deposed Emperor Wilhelm II continued to award the order to his family. He made his wife, Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz. The statutes of the order were published on 18 January 1701, membership in the Order of the Black Eagle was limited to a small number of knights, and was divided into two classes, members of reigning houses and capitular knights. Before 1847, membership was limited to nobles, but after that date, capitular knights were generally high-ranking government officials or military officers. The Order of the Black Eagle had only one class, by statute, members of the order held the Grand Cross of the Order of the Red Eagle, and wore the badge of that order from a ribbon around the neck. From 1862, members of the Prussian royal house, upon award of the Order of the Black Eagle, the badge of the Order was a gold Maltese cross, enameled in blue, with gold-crowned black eagles between the arms of the cross.
The gold center medallion bore the monogram of Friedrich I. This badge was worn either a broad ribbon or a collar. The ribbon of the Order was an orange moiré sash worn from the shoulder to the right hip. The sash color was chosen in honor of Louise Henriette of Nassau, daughter of the prince of Orange, the star of the Order was a silver eight-pointed star, with straight or faceted rays depending on the jewelers design. The center medallion displayed a black eagle on a background, surrounded by a white enamelled ring bearing a wreath of laurels. At meetings of the chapter of the Order of the Black Eagle and at certain ceremonies, embroidered on the left shoulder of each cape was a large star of the Order. From its founding in 1701 to 1918, the Order of the Black Eagle was awarded 407 times, subjects of the Prussian King receiving the order which was only given in one class were promoted to the peerage and received hereditary title. The Order was conferred upon Prussian queens, though other members of the royal family usually received the Order of Louise instead.
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn – Kaiser Wilhelm IIs uncle, Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland – Prince of Sweden Carol I of Romania – King of Romania, member of the Princely House of Hohenzollern. Louis XVIII – King of France, ludwig II of Bavaria – King of Bavaria. Emperor Meiji – Emperor of Japan, mozaffar al-Din Shah – Shah of Persia –29 May 1902 – during the visit to Berlin of the Shah Naser al-Din Shah Qajar – Shah of Persia
Merit Cross for War Aid
The Merit Cross for War Aid was a war decoration of Prussia awarded during World War I. Instituted 5 December 1916, the cross was awarded for patriotic war aid service, the Merit Cross for War Aid is in the shape of a Maltese cross, typically found made of blackened Kriegsmetall alloy. The obverse of the bears a circular central medallion with the crowned cipher of King Wilhelm II. On the reverse the central medallion is inscribed FÜR KRIEGS-HILFSDIENST above an oak wreath, to the upper arm is attached a loop for suspension from its ribbon
Red Cross Medal (Prussia)
The Red Cross Medal was a German medal set up on 1 October 1898 by Wilhelm II. It had three classes and could be awarded to all those who carried out service to the sick in peace or wartime. The Red Cross Medal was awarded in three classes, the Second and Third classes being worn as circular medals suspended from a red ribbon with white, the First Class was a red enameled Geneva Cross with gilded Prussian Royal Crowns at the ends of the arms. This award was worn as a steckreuz on the breast like the Iron Cross, recipients could be promoted to the next class of the medal with five years time in service, with the first level anyone could be initially appointed to being the Second Class. The Red Cross Medal, First Class was a Steckkreuz in the form of the red enameled Geneva cross in gilded silver, at the ends of the cross arms are gilded Prussian Royal Crowns. The red enamel bears a hatch pattern, the back is plain gilded silver except for the single vertical attachment pin on the back. The cross is 46.6 to 48.8 mm high, the Red Cross Medal, Second Class is a round, silver medal,33 mm in diameter.
On the obverse is a Geneva cross with Prussian royal crowns at the ends the arms of the cross, the Geneva cross is enabled in red. Between the arms of the cross are the initials W and R at the top, on the reverse is the inscription in four lines FUER / VERDIENSTE / UM DAS / ROTHE KREUZ. To the left of the inscription is an oak branch. The Red Cross Medal, Third Class is a bronze medal,33 mm in diameter. The design is identical to the silver medal except it lacks the red enameling of the cross on the obverse, in 1900, clasps for the medals were created to recognize service in war. Three were awarded, Südafrika 1899-1900 Ostasien 1900/01 Südwestafrika 1904/06
The Kulm Cross was a Prussian award. It was a version of the Badge of the Iron Cross and it was created on 4 December 1813 by Frederick William III of Prussia after the battle of Kulm. It was not awarded for any act of courage or merit. Officers wore it in silver and NCOs and other ranks in metal and it was worn on the tunic, with no ribbon. A Russian version of the order was completely identical in size and shape to the Prussian Order of the Iron Cross, differing only in that it had no date and monogram of the king. By awarding this cross 12,066 people were represented, but the reward could only be obtained by 7,131 soldiers who survived to 1816
William I, German Emperor
William I, or in German Wilhelm I, of the House of Hohenzollern was the King of Prussia and the first German Emperor, as well as the first Head of State of a united Germany. Under the leadership of William and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire. Contrary to the domineering Bismarck, William was described as polite, gentlemanly and, while a staunch conservative, the future king and emperor was born William Frederick Louis of Prussia in the Kronprinzenpalais in Berlin on 22 March 1797. As the second son of Prince Frederick William, himself son of King Frederick William II and his grandfather died the year he was born, at age 53, in 1797, and his father Frederick William III became king. He was educated from 1801 to 1809 by Johann Friedrich Gottlieb Delbrück, who was in charge of the education of Williams brother, at age twelve, his father appointed him an officer in the Prussian army. William served in the army from 1814 onward, like his father he fought against Napoleon I of France during the part of the Napoleonic Wars known in Germany as the Befreiungskriege, and was reportedly a very brave soldier.
He was made a Captain and won the Iron Cross for his actions at Bar-sur-Aube, the war and the fight against France left a lifelong impression on him, and he had a long-standing antipathy towards the French. In 1815, William was promoted to Major and commanded a battalion of the 1 and he fought under Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher at the Battles of Ligny and Waterloo. He became an excellent diplomat by engaging in diplomatic missions after 1815, in 1816, William became the commander of the Stettiner Gardelandwehrbataillon and in 1818 was promoted to Generalmajor. The next year, William was appointed inspector of the VII. and this made him a spokesman of the Prussian Army within the House of Hohenzollern. He argued in favour of a strong, well-trained and well-equipped army, in 1820, William became commander of the 1. Gardedivision and in 1825 was promoted to commanding general of the III, in 1829, William married Princess Augusta von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach after Princess Elisa Radziwill, his cousin whom he had been attracted to, was deemed an inappropriate match by his father.
William had been forced to abandon the relationship with Elisa in 1826, Augusta was the daughter of Grand Duke Karl Friedrich von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach. Their marriage was stable, but not a very happy one. In 1840 his older brother became King of Prussia, since he had no children, William was first in line to succeed him to the throne and thus was given the title Prinz von Preußen. Against his convictions but out of loyalty towards his brother, in 1847 William signed the bill setting up a Prussian parliament and took a seat in the upper chamber, the Herrenhaus. During the Revolutions of 1848, William successfully crushed a revolt in Berlin that was aimed at his elder brother, the use of cannon made him unpopular at the time and earned him the nickname Kartätschenprinz. Indeed, he had to flee to England for a while and he returned and helped to put down an uprising in Baden, where he commanded the Prussian army
Ladies Merit Cross
The award was ranked just behind the Order of Louise. To be awarded the first class, a member must have held the class for ten years. In exceptional cases, this requirement could be waived, the insignia were returnable upon death. The badge is made of gold in the first class and of silver for the second class medallion, in the center is a cross fleury with stylized cornflowers between the arms of the cross. The medallion is framed by a string of pearls and is surmounted by a crown, on the edge of the medallion is the blue enameled inscription FÜR VERDIENSTE. On the lower half of the edge are laurel branches flanking the intertwined letters AV, the insignia of the order was worn on a white bow on the left chest. Jörg Nimmergut, Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen bis 1945, zentralstelle für wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, München 1997, ISBN 3-00-001396-2
Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was the Queen of Prussia and the first German Empress as the consort of William I, German Emperor. Augusta was the daughter of Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Maria Pavlovna of Russia. Augusta received an education, including drawing lessons from the court painter, Luise Seidler, as well as music lessons from the court bandmaster. Augusta was only fifteen years old when, in 1826, she first met her future husband, Wilhelm thought the young Augusta had an excellent personality, yet was less attractive than her older sister Marie, whom Wilhelms younger brother, had already married. Above all, it was Wilhelms father who pressed him to consider Augusta as a potential wife, at this time, Wilhelm was in love with the Polish Princess Elisa Radziwill. The Crown Prince at the time was Wilhelms elder brother, Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and he and his wife Elisabeth Ludovika had been married three years and had no children. Although it was not anticipated that they would remain childless, the court did expect that Wilhelm, as heir presumptive to the throne, should make a dynastic marriage and produce further heirs.
It was suggested by some courtiers that if Eliza Radziwell was adopted by a family of adequate rank, in 1824, the Prussians turned to the childless Alexander I of Russia to adopt Elisa, but the Russian Tsar declined. The second adoption plan by Elisas uncle, Prince Augustus of Prussia, another factor was the Mecklenburg relations of the deceased Queen Louises influence in the German and Russian courts. Thus, in June 1826, Wilhelms father felt forced to demand the renunciation of a marriage to Elisa. Thus, Wilhelm spent the few months looking for a more suitable bride. Eventually, Wilhelm asked for Augustas hand in marriage on 29 August, Augusta happily agreed and on 25 October 1828, they were engaged. Augusta liked her future husband and hoped for a happy marriage, on 11 June 1829, after a strenuous three-day trip from Weimar to Berlin, Wilhelm married his fiancée, fourteen years younger than he was, in the chapel of Schloss Charlottenburg. In a letter which Wilhelm wrote on 22 January 1831 to his sister Charlotte, Prince Friedrich, was born that year on 18 October 1831, three years after their marriage and Louise, was born on 3 December 1838, seven years later.
Augusta was very interested in politics, like so many other liberally-minded people of the time, she was hopeful regarding the accession of Friedrich Wilhelm IV, her brother-in-law, who was regarded as a potentially modern and open king. However, he refused to grant a constitution to Prussia, a united landtag was created by the King in reaction to the crop failures and hunger revolts of 1847, but was soon dissolved a few months later. Because the letters and diaries of that time were destroyed by Augusta. After, in May 1848,800 members of the German National Assembly met in the Frankfurter Paulskirche to discuss German unification and Prince Wilhelm returned from London the following month
Order of Merit of the Prussian Crown
The order was presented in one class and consisted of a badge and a breast star. For military merit the award was presented with crossed swords, the order was presented once with diamonds. In each of the compartments between the four arms of the cross is a crown surmounting the royal monogram. The central disc on the obverse of the shows a golden crown with red enamel, surrounded by a blue-enamelled circular band bearing the gold-lettered motto. The disc on the bears the intertwined initials IR W II. The star of the order is a golden eight-pointed star with straight rays, the sash of the order is blue, edged with orange stripes. The medal was awarded only 57 times, general von Gossler was the only person who received the awards in both departments. Zentralstelle für wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, München 1997, ISBN 3-00-001396-2, kurt-Gerhard Klietmann, Der Verdienstorden der Preußischen Krone, Mitteilung aus dem Institut für Wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, Der Herold - Band 12,32
House Order of Hohenzollern
The House Order of Hohenzollern was a dynastic order of knighthood of the House of Hohenzollern awarded to military commissioned officers and civilians of comparable status. Associated with the versions of the order were crosses and medals which could be awarded to lower-ranking soldiers. The House Order of Hohenzollern was instituted on December 5,1841 by joint decree of Prince Konstantin of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and these two principalities in southern Germany were Catholic collateral lines of the House of Hohenzollern, cousins to the Protestant ruling house of Prussia. On August 23,1851, after the two principalities had been annexed by Prussia, the order was adopted by the Prussian branch of the house. Also, although the two principalities had become a region of the Prussian kingdom, the princely lines continued to award the order as a house order. The Prussian version was known as the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. The Princely House Order continued to be awarded, after the fall of the German Monarchy, Prince Karl Antons second son, Karl Eitel Friedrich of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, had become prince and king of Romania as Carol I.
Carol I had died childless and was succeeded by his nephew Ferdinand I and this form of the order existed until the Romanian monarchy was abolished in 1947, King Michael awarded a slightly altered order in exile. The Royal House Order of Hohenzollern came in the classes, Grand Commander Commander Knight Member Member was a lesser class for soldiers who were not officers. The Members Cross, especially swords, was a rare distinction for non-commissioned officers. Another decoration, the Members Eagle was often given as an award to lesser officials such as schoolteachers. The Eagles were solely civilian awards, and could not be awarded with swords, all other grades could be awarded with swords. When awarded with swords it was worn on the ribbon of the Iron Cross, all grades could be awarded with swords. During World War I, the grade of the Princely House Order was often awarded to officers. 40, a regiment raised in the principalities of Hohenzollern. Soldier in the regiments sister reserve and Landwehr regiments received the decoration.
Unlike the Royal House Order, awards of the Princely House Order were made on the ribbon of the order regardless of whether they were with or without swords. As with the Prussian and Hohenzollern versions, crossed swords could be used to indicate a wartime or combat award, the badge of the House Order of Hohenzollern was a cross pattée with convex edges and curved arms
General Honor Decoration (Prussia)
The General Honor Decoration was a decoration of Prussia. The decoration can trace its origin back to awards established in 1793 by King Frederick William III of Prussia, the various levels of the decoration recognized peacetime merit to Prussia. These awards were often to commemorate long and particularly meritorious service or for contributions from people who would not be considered for appointment to an order due to their rank. In general, recipients were lower and mid-level officials and officers, the General Honor Decoration originally consisted of a First Class medal in gold, and a Second Class medal in silver. After 1814, the medal was discontinued being replaced by a silver cross for the First Class. In January 1830, the cross was made into the Fourth Class of the Order of the Red Eagle, in 1890, a gold medal was reestablished as a higher level class