Mother's Cross

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
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Veritas1911
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Mother's Cross

Post by Veritas1911 » 12 Aug 2006 14:24

I was just reading that on this day, August 12, 1938, Hitler institutes the Mother's Cross. It also happens to be Hitler's mother's birthday.

I guess that the German Reich was faced with the need to grow their population. It encouraged girls, usually from the League of German Girls, of the eligible age of 18 to join a branch called Faith and Beauty. F&B trained in the art of becoming mothers.

So every year, and in honor and memory of Hitler's mother, a Gold medal was awarded to women with seven children, a Silver to women with six, and a Bronze to women with five.

frdemmer
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Post by frdemmer » 17 Nov 2006 01:55

'The Mutter Kreuze medaL seems actually to be a part of a grander program, that of course required an administration. The woman designated to that capacity was a certain Elsbeth Zander. There seems to be a real paucity of either graphic or photographic documentation of her. Would greatly appreciate facts for further source of Elsbeth's image.

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Helly Angel
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Post by Helly Angel » 17 Nov 2006 03:55

This is the partei komrade Elsbeth Zander taken in 1929 in a photo that was published here by Max Williams long time ago, the photo is from his propierty, please Max if you want I can erase this little photo.

Best Regards,


Sorry photo deleted.
Last edited by Helly Angel on 18 Nov 2006 14:58, edited 1 time in total.

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ancasta
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Post by ancasta » 17 Nov 2006 11:52

This seems to be a good point to add a photo of the rarest MutterKreuz of all, one with diamonds for 10+ children I believe 8O
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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 18 Nov 2006 07:21

By the way, I'd like to remind everyone to provide sources for their photos here, whether from their own collections or otherwise.

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~Vikki

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Matt Gibbs
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Post by Matt Gibbs » 18 Nov 2006 12:00

I'd be expecailly interested to know the provenance of the Mothers Cross with Diamonds. Is it in a museum or collection? My notes suggested it was possibly awarded for 12 or 14 children, but doubtful if it was ever issued. Is this genuine or a post war creation, like many diamonds awards?
Sadly not enough people quote a proper source for their pictures, either becase of enthusiasm in getting the post done, which I am guilty of, or other reasons. Quoting a source as "internet" always bugs me personally because I always think back to the number of times I have heard of people stealing others photos.
regards
Matt Gibbs

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ancasta
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Post by ancasta » 18 Nov 2006 14:02

The above photo was sent to me by a friend quite a while ago now. It was then and I think still is with a militaria dealer who has it for sale. I assume googling it will help you track it down. If someone can find out who has it I will credit it accordingly.

I have read a couple accounts in the 'NS Frauenwarte' magazine of this cross being awarded to two women who had literally an army of kids. However, in one case the woman who received it was well past her childbearing age at 65.
The University of Heidelberg has most of them: http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/frauenwarte1941
and for those of you who cant read German here are some translations from selected copies: http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/fw.htm
Be warned though, its your typical nazi propaganda and in some places heavy going. I personally experiment with the recipes given, some of them have been very tasty. My favourite so far is the 'Blitz Kuchen'.

I have also read that some other gold crosses were also awarded to old ladies, which seems to be backed up with photos of Maidenfuhrerinnen of the RADwJ giving these crosses to old ladies on a farm kept in the archives of the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin (their photo archive is great to browse). I tried to track down one of these photos for you but I didn't seem to type in the right formula for their search engine :( If you want to browse their vast archives then here is their link:
http://www.dhm.de/

As for sources, I have seen photos I own posted on here by other members! I could be mean and winge at them, but I decided that in the interest of information sharing and learning it didnt matter so much.
Last edited by ancasta on 19 Nov 2006 18:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 18 Nov 2006 20:28

ancasta wrote:As for sources, I have seen photos I own posted on here by other members! I could be mean and winge at them, but I decided that in the interested of information sharing and learning it didnt matter so much.


Ancasta,

I've had the same experience, with photos of items being posted from old sales lists, when the items are now in my collection. It's irritating, but as you say, in the interest of the information.... And I guess it's a sort of compliment to the collector's taste and eye!

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~Vikki

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Vikki
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Re: Mother's Cross

Post by Vikki » 18 Nov 2006 21:08

Veritas1911 wrote:I was just reading that on this day, August 12, 1938, Hitler institutes the Mother's Cross. It also happens to be Hitler's mother's birthday.

I guess that the German Reich was faced with the need to grow their population. It encouraged girls, usually from the League of German Girls, of the eligible age of 18 to join a branch called Faith and Beauty. F&B trained in the art of becoming mothers.

So every year, and in honor and memory of Hitler's mother, a Gold medal was awarded to women with seven children, a Silver to women with six, and a Bronze to women with five.


The award was actually instituted on 16 December 1938---the date inscribed on the reverse of the cross. (Except for a few of the very earliest ones, which bore the inscription "Das Kind adelt die Mutter/Adolf Hitler".) And the grades of the award were bronze for 4 or 5 children, silver for 6 or 7 children, and gold for eight or more.

Matt, as for the Mother's Cross with Diamonds, the source books I have all agree that the criteria for the award are unknown. But some (few--one source actually phrases it "at least two") are known to exist, with wartime documentation, one to a woman from Dresden who had 16 ( 8O !) children. One author suggests from the known examples that the award was for mothers who had in excess of 15 children.

~Vikki

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Matt Gibbs
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Post by Matt Gibbs » 19 Nov 2006 00:06

Danke Vikki! I thought something along those lines was probable.
Ancasta, that link to the Heidelberg Uni is most excellent and shall give me something to do on dark nights. I think I stumbled on it once but never saved the link, thanks.
Regards
Matt Gibbs

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ancasta
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Post by ancasta » 19 Nov 2006 18:47

Thanks Vikki and Matt for those interesting points. I agree with Vikki, in that I have seen only two references for the highest award. Mind you, how many women would have been in a relationship that would have supported so many children? Imagine the expense/time/stress.

However, because I have seen only two references to this cross I wonder if the one above is an original. After all, wouldn't it be a special family heirloom or museum piece, or at least one sold at a high end auction?

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Post by frdemmer » 20 Nov 2006 02:16

'Wanted to thank member Helly Angel, for their effort at least, to include a photo of Elsbeth Zander. Next thought would probably to write to Hr. Max and determine if there would be another way to post the photo, or at least obtain a jpeg. As this being for an illustration, a higher res would be preferable. Anyway, Viele Danke. FRDemmer'

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Helly Angel
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Post by Helly Angel » 20 Nov 2006 03:05

Mandame tu correo en PM y te la mando.

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Acolyte
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Post by Acolyte » 20 Nov 2006 08:54

There was a similar award in the USSR between 1944-1991 called the 'Mother Hero Medal':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Hero

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ancasta
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Post by ancasta » 20 Nov 2006 10:50

Interesting link Acolyte.

As far as I know the British did not consider any versions of the mother's cross.

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