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
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
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
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
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
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
Duppel Storm Cross
The Düppel Storm Cross was a military medal of the Kingdom of Prussia. The cross was awarded to Prussian participants in the Battle of Dybbøl which took place on 18 April 1864, established by Wilhelm, King of Prussia on 18 October 1864, the cross was initially awarded to combatants and noncombatants who directly participated in the battle. The following year, versions were created for those held in reserve at the battle. The Düppel Storm Cross was designed by Friedrich Wilhelm Kullrich, a Prussian court medalist and it was the first of three commemorative crosses awarded during the 1860s with similar designs. The medal is in the shape of a cross pattée, visible between the arms of the cross is a laurel wreath. Superimposed in the center of the cross is a round medallion, on the obverse, the medallion bears the left-facing effigy of King Wilhelm I circumscribed are the words WILHELM KOENIG VON PREUSSEN. The medallion on the reverse depicts a crowned Prussian eagle perched upon a Danish cannon.
The top arm of the cross has the word DÜPPEL, the arm of the cross has 18, the right arm has APR. A version for members of the Johanniter Orden was identical in design, the combatants ribbon, was a 32 mm wide blue silk ribbon, in the color of the Prussian Crown Order ribbon. At the edges were a black stripe and white stripe, with a thin white stripe on the outside edge. The non-combatants ribbon was of silk, the edges were thin stripes of white, black. The orange was divided into thirds by two blue stripes. The ribbon for troops held in reserve was blue with white edges. In the center were wide stripes of white and white, the ribbon for Johanniter Orden recipients was suspended from the ribbon of the House Order of Hohenzollern. This ribbon is white, with a central stripe and black stripes near the edge
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
Prussia was a historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and centred on the region of Prussia. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, German states united to create the German Empire under Prussian leadership, in November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19. The Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, from 1933, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup, when the Nazi regime was successfully establishing its Gleichschaltung laws in pursuit of a unitary state. Prussia existed de jure until its liquidation by the Allied Control Council Enactment No.46 of 25 February 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians, in the 13th century, the Teutonic Knights—an organized Catholic medieval military order of German crusaders—conquered the lands inhabited by them.
In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk and their monastic state was mostly Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany and in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The Second Peace of Thorn split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, and the part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia. The union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom, and exercised most influence in the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 18th century it had a say in many international affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great. During the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck united the German principalities into a Lesser Germany which excluded the Austrian Empire. At the Congress of Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleons defeat, Prussia acquired a section of north western Germany.
The country grew rapidly in influence economically and politically, and became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, and of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians. In the Weimar Republic, the state of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. East Prussia lost all of its German population after 1945, as Poland, the main coat of arms of Prussia, as well as the flag of Prussia, depicted a black eagle on a white background. The black and white colours were already used by the Teutonic Knights. The Teutonic Order wore a white coat embroidered with a cross with gold insert
The Iron Cross was a military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and in the German Empire and Nazi Germany. It was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia in March 1813 backdated to the birthday of his late wife Queen Louise on 10 March 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars, Louise was the first person to receive this decoration. The recommissioned Iron Cross was awarded during the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, the Iron Cross was normally a military decoration only, though there were instances of it being awarded to civilians for performing military functions. The design of the symbol was black with a white or silver outline. It was ultimately derived from the cross pattée occasionally used by the Teutonic Order from the 13th century, the black cross patty was used as the symbol of the German Army from 1871 to March/April 1918, when it was replaced by the Balkenkreuz. In 1956, it was re-introduced as the symbol of the Bundeswehr, the Black Cross is the emblem used by the Prussian Army, and by the army of Germany from 1871 to present.
It was designed on the occasion of the German Campaign of 1813, from this time, the Black Cross featured on the Prussian war flag alongside the Black Eagle. The design is due to neoclassical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, based on a sketch by Frederick William, the design is ultimately derivative of the black cross used by the Teutonic Order. This heraldic cross took various forms throughout the history, including a simple Latin cross. When the Quadriga of the Goddess of Peace was retrieved from Paris at Napoleons fall, an Iron Cross was inserted into her laurel wreath, making her into a Goddess of Victory. The Black Cross was used on the naval and war flags of the German Empire, the Black Cross was used as the symbol of the German Army until 1915, when it was replaced by a simpler Balkenkreuz. The Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic, the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany, the traditional design in black is used on armored vehicles and aircraft, while after German reunification, a new design in blue and silver was introduced for use in other contexts.
The ribbon for the 1813,1870 and 1914 Iron Cross was black with two white bands, the colors of Prussia. The non-combatant version of this award had the same medal, but the black, the ribbon color for the 1939 EKII was black/white/red/white/black. Since the Iron Cross was issued several different periods of German history. For example, an Iron Cross from World War I bears the year 1914, the reverse of the 1870,1914 and 1939 series of Iron Crosses have the year 1813 appearing on the lower arm, symbolizing the year the award was created. The 1813 decoration has the initials FW for King Frederick William III, the final version shows a swastika. There was the 1957 issue, a replacement medal for holders of the 1939 series which substituted an oak-leaf cluster for the banned swastika
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