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
House of Hohenzollern
The House of Hohenzollern is a dynasty of former princes, electors and emperors of Hohenzollern, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania. The family arose in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century, the first ancestor of the Hohenzollerns was mentioned in 1061. They may have derived from the Burchardinger dynasty, the Hohenzollern family split into two branches, the Catholic Swabian branch and the Protestant Franconian branch, which became the Brandenburg-Prussian branch. The Swabian branch ruled the principalities of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen until 1849, members of the Franconian branch became Margrave of Brandenburg in 1415 and Duke of Prussia in 1525. The Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia were ruled in personal union after 1618 and were called Brandenburg-Prussia, germanys defeat in World War I in 1918 led to the German Revolution. The Hohenzollerns were overthrown and the Weimar Republic was established, thus bringing an end to the German monarchy, Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia is the current head of the royal Prussian line, while Karl Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern is the head of the princely Swabian line.
Zollern, from 1218 Hohenzollern, was a county of the Holy Roman Empire and its ruling dynasty was first mentioned in 1061. The Hohenzollerns named their estates after Hohenzollern Castle in the Swabian Alps, the Hohenzollern Castle still belongs to the family today. According to the medieval chronicler Berthold of Reichenau, Burkhard I, Count of Zollern was born before 1025, the Zollerns received the comital title from Emperor Henry V in 1111. As loyal vassals of the Swabian Hohenstaufen dynasty, they were able to enlarge their territory. In 1218 the burgraviate passed to Fredericks younger son Conrad I, he became the ancestor of the Franconian Hohenzollern branch. 1150-1155 and 1160, Gotfried of Zimmern, 4th oldest son of Frederick I before 1171 – c,1200, Frederick III/I Count Frederick III of Zollern was a loyal retainer of the Holy Roman Emperors Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI. In about 1185 he married Sophia of Raabs, the daughter of Conrad II, after the death of Conrad II who left no male heirs, Frederick III was granted Nuremberg in 1192 as Burgrave Frederick I of Nuremberg-Zollern.
Since the name has been Hohenzollern. The younger brother, Conrad III, received the burgraviate of Nuremberg from his older brother Frederick IV in 1218, members of the Franconian line eventually became the Brandenburg-Prussian branch. The Franconian line converted to Protestantism, the cadet Franconian branch of the House of Hohenzollern was founded by Conrad I, Burgrave of Nuremberg. Beginning in the 16th century, this branch of the family became Protestant and decided on expansion through marriage, the family supported the Hohenstaufen and Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire during the 12th to 15th centuries, being rewarded with several territorial grants. He ruled the Margraviate of Brandenburg-Ansbach after 1398, from 1420, he became Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach
Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg)
The Order is led by its thirty-seventh Herrenmeister, Prince Oskar of Prussia. Each of its knights, about four thousand men worldwide, is either a Knight of Justice or a Knight of Honor, although membership no longer is limited to the nobility, as it was until 1948, the majority of knights still are drawn from this class. The Order comprises seventeen commanderies in Germany, one each in Austria, France and Switzerland, with the Roman Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta, these four Alliance orders represent the legitimate heirs of the Knights Hospitaller. The Order and its orders in the Netherlands and Sweden. The SMOM, headquartered in Rome, admits only men and women of the Roman Catholic faith, in time, these landholdings were gathered into regional administrative divisions known as commanderies, each headed by a senior knight, or knight commander of the Order. The first commandery in the Germanies was founded in the mid-twelfth century, though separated from the Roman Catholic main stem of the Order of Saint John, the Bailiwick of Brandenburg continued to flourish.
Admitting only noblemen, principally from the Germanies, the Bailiwick maintained hospitals and other institutions to care for the poor, the sick, and the injured. The horrific Thirty Years War devastated the Bailiwick, resulting in the deaths of many knights and he established a similarly named order of merit, the Royal Prussian Order of Saint John, in its stead. He announced his election to the head of the Order of Malta, during the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Order created and supported more and more charitable activities. It now owns and operates numerous hospitals, ambulance services, old-age homes, after World War II, with the Neumark given by the victorious Allies to Poland, the Order moved its headquarters to Bonn, West Germany. After the reunification of West and East Germany, the headquarters were moved again, more than location of the seat of the Order changed in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Finnish commandery, remains a purely noble society, as do the now independent Swedish, there are three active classes in the Order, Knight of Justice, and Knight of Honor.
These services are similar to the St. John Ambulance in many Commonwealth nations, all are carried out under the auspices of the Christian faith. Additionally, spiritual retreats and other activities of the Order concentrate on the spiritual formation, the cloak of the Order is plain black with a large, linen eight-pointed cross on the left breast. For most knights, the cloak is black woollen with a plain lining, the cloaks of most knights are closed only at the neck, but the Herrenmeister, Honorary Commanders, and Knights of Justice wear a long black cord called a cingulum. The insignia, known as crosses of honor, are no longer bestowed by the Order automatically, Knights of Honor now must have rendered five years of service to the Order before a cross of honor is granted. Promotion to Knight of Justice requires at least seven years of distinguished service, the basic insignia of the Order is a white-enamelled Maltese cross. Each cross is worn from a black-moire,4. 5-centimeter-wide ribbon worn about the neck, all members of the Order may wear a plain, Maltese cross as a star or breast badge
Military Merit Cross (Prussia)
The Military Merit Cross was the highest bravery award of the Kingdom of Prussia for non-commissioned officers and enlisted soldiers. The Military Merit Cross came to be known as the Pour le Mérite for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men, after the Pour le Mérite, the Military Merit Cross was founded by King Wilhelm I of Prussia on February 27,1864. The first 16 awards were made for the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, no awards were made for the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, where the principal Prussian military decoration, for both officers and enlisted men, was the Iron Cross. The next group of awards were 17 made in 1879 to Russian soldiers for bravery in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, only five more awards were made before World War I, four for colonial conflicts and one for the Boxer Rebellion. During World War I, the Iron Cross was again reinstituted, the first Military Merit Cross was awarded in October 1916, followed by 54 more awards in 1917. The rest of the awards of the Military Merit Cross were made in 1918, recipients received a monthly stipend, which was maintained even after the end of the Prussian monarchy in November 1918 through the Third Reich era, and was reestablished in West Germany in 1957.
Klaus D. Patzwall, ed. Das Preußische Goldene Militär-verdienst-kreuz, dr. Kurt-Gerhard Klietmann, Pour le Mérite und Tapferkeitsmedaille
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
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
Order of the Crown (Prussia)
The Order of the Crown was a Prussian order of chivalry. Officially the Order of the Red Eagle and the Order of the Crown were equal, most officials did however prefer to be appointed in the older Order of the Red Eagle. The Order of the Crown was often used as a decoration of someone who had to be rewarded while the Prussian government did not want to award the Order of the Red Eagle. The badge of the Order for the 1st to 4th classes was a gilt cross pattée, the obverse gilt central disc bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto of the German Empire Gott Mit Uns. The reverse gilt disc has the Prussian royal monogram, surrounded by a blue ring with the date 18 October 1861. The star of the Order was a gilt eight-pointed star, a silver eight-pointed star, or a silver four-pointed star, the gilt central disc again bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto Gott Mit Uns. The ribbon of the Order was blue, the order could be awarded in dozens of variations.
For example with superimposed Cross of Geneva, with swords and with oak leaves, the following lists show a fair cross section of individuals who were known to be conferred with the Order in its several classes, in order of precedence. Sir Christopher George Francis Maurice Cradock Baron Giacomo Natoli - 1st Class Mustafa Kemal Atatürk - 1st Class, Count Charles John dOultremont, Knight Grand Cross. Ernst von Bibra - 3rd Class 1869 Gen. Major-General Sir John McNeill - 1st class,1899 - in connection with the visit of Emperor Wilhelm II to the United Kingdom
Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein
Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein was the last German empress and queen of Prussia as the first wife of Wilhelm II, German Emperor. Augusta Victoria was the eldest daughter of Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, on 27 February 1881, Augusta married her second cousin Prince Wilhelm of Prussia. Augustas maternal grandmother Princess Feodora of Leiningen was the half-sister of Queen Victoria, Wilhelm had earlier proposed to his first cousin, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine, a daughter of his mothers own sister, but she declined. He did not react well, and was adamant that he would marry another princess. Wilhelms family was originally against the marriage with Augusta Viktoria, whose father was not even a sovereign, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was a strong proponent of the marriage, believing that it would end the dispute between the Prussian government and Augustas father. In the end, Wilhelms intransigence, the support of Bismarck, Augusta was known as Dona within the family.
She enjoyed a somewhat relationship with her mother-in-law, Victoria. The Empress was annoyed that the title of head of the Red Cross went to Dona, the two were often seen out riding in a carriage together. Augusta was at Victorias bedside when she died of breast cancer in 1901, Augusta had less than cordial relationships with some of Wilhelms sisters, especially the recently married Crown Princess Sophie of Greece. Sophie replied that it was her business whether or not she did, Augusta became hysterical and gave birth prematurely to her son, Prince Joachim, as a result of which she was protective of him for the rest of his life, believing that he was delicate. Evidently, so did Wilhelm, he wrote to his mother if the baby died. In 1920, the shock of exile and abdication, combined with the breakdown of Joachims marriage and his subsequent suicide and she died in 1921, in House Doorn at Doorn in the Netherlands. Wilhelm, still reeling over the losses, was devastated by her death. The Weimar Republic allowed her remains to be transported back to Germany, because he was not permitted to enter Germany, Wilhelm could accompany his wife on her last journey only as far as the German border.
Kaiserin Augusta gave birth to seven children by Wilhelm II, German Crown Prince, Prince Eitel Friedrich, married Duchess Sophia Charlotte of Oldenburg. Prince Adalbert, married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, Prince August Wilhelm, married Princess Alexandra Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Prince Oskar, married Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz, Prince Joachim, married Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt. Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia, married Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick, the funeral of Augusta Victoria is reflected upon in the novel by Katherine Anne Porter, Ship of Fools
Order of Louise
The Order of Louise was founded on 3 August 1814 by Frederick William III of Prussia to honor his late wife, the much beloved Queen Luise. This order was chivalric in nature, but was intended strictly for women whose service to Germany was worthy of high national recognition. Its dame companion members were limited to 100 in number, and were intended to be drawn from all classes, though the Prussian king was technically the Sovereign of the Orders of the realm, the Chief of the Order of Louise was the reigning queen. The Order of Louise was renewed with each successive king or emperor and it was, issued from its founding in 1814, renewed in 1850, in 1865, and in 1890. Faith and hope gave the mothers and daughters of the country the power… for the grand purpose and it is impossible to honor or for what they have accomplished, but We find it justified to lend them an honor, whose are especially acknowledged. We decree therefore hereby following,1, the honor shall bear the meaningful name, L u i s e n - O r d e n Establish that we with this, a small, black-enameled golden cross.
The on both sides will be of sky blue enamel, with the letter “L”, surrounded by a wreath of stars and this order is worn a bow of the white ribbon of the Iron Cross on the left breast. The award without consideration of position or rank, however only such persons can receive it, are. The number is restricted to one hundred, to its selection lets decree hereby a Capitel, under the chair of the woman princess Wilhelm Königl. Highness, out of four women …6, the bestowal / conferral of the award results then, after Our confirmation, under the signature of the Princess Wilhelm Königl. We hereby order the management of the membership to the field marshal count v. d, at its initial creation, in 1814, the Order was only available in one class. A second class was added during the reign of Wilhelm I, First Class, wore the black-enameled cross with its blue-enameled, medallion centerpiece, suspended from a predominantly white ribbon, with three black stripes, as tied in a bow. Though the statutes indicate that the badge was to be worn on the left breast, Second Class, wore a similarly-designed silver cross, minus the black enamel, which was worn suspended from the white and black bow.
The Prussian State Handbook of 1907 indicates further variants and subsets of the Second Class of the order, II.1 with silver crown, II.1, Saxony, Georg Joachim Goeschen,1819. Handbuch über den Königlich Preußischen Hof und Staat für das Jahr 1874, handbuch über den Königlich Preußischen Hof und Staat für das Jahr 1883. Handbuch über den Königlich Preußischen Hof und Staat für das Jahr 1907
The insignia of the Order consisted of a golden medal with the portrait of William I, surrounded by a golden wreath and suspended from a heavy golden collar. This collar with a weight of 222 grams bore the words WIRKE IM ANDENKEN AN KAISER WILHELM DEN GROSSEN and was designed by the jewellers Emil Weigand en Otto Schultz, one of the first to be decorated was Otto von Bismarck. Also among the recipients were, Heinrich von Stephan, General Post Director -1896, count Arthur von Posadowsky-Wehner, politician -27 January 1900 - on the occasion of the Emperor´s birthday. Princess Marie Elisabeth of Saxe-Meiningen and composer -28 August 1913 - the last recipient of the Order, media related to Wilhelm-Orden at Wikimedia Commons Picture on
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