The Anschluss Commemorative Medal
(Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13. März 1938
) was a decoration of Nazi Germany
awarded in the interwar period
Instituted on May 1, 1938, the medal commemorated the return of Austria
to the German Reich. The move was the first in Hitler's quest for Lebensraum
, and it strengthened German flanks while weakening those of Czechoslovakia. German troops crossed the border on March 12, 1938, without meeting any resistance. The stage had been set by a series of "incidents"
provoked by members of the NSDAP
in Austria, and diplomatic pressure and ultimatums set forth by the German
government. This first action, while perhaps raising suspicions, did not cause general alarm in the world community, as it seemed to be done by choice of the Austrian people who spoke German.
The medal, known as the "Anschluss medal", was awarded to all those Austrians who contributed to or participated in the annexation as well as the members of the Austrian NSDAP
. It was also awarded to German State officials and members of the German Wehrmacht and SS who marched into Austria.
It was awarded until December 13, 1940. In all 318,689 medals were awarded.
The round, highly detailed, die-struck medal was based on the 1938 Party Day Badge and designed by Professor Richard Klein
On the obverse of the medal, symbolic of Austrian adhesion to the German realm, a man holding the Nazi flag stands on a dais bearing the emblem of the... Read More