A large amount of these people greeted the Germans as Saviour as did the Latvians, Estonians etc. Many formed Auxiliary battalions to help the Germans and so the German Officers, which was to be expected, applied the same criteria of awards and medals to these Auxiliary units as well as the regulars. Iron crosses were awarded as were Assault badges.
But when Hitler got to hear of this, he had his usual say and forbade the issue of any German Medal or Badge, and all recipients of said awards were to return them.
He also banned the issue of any tunic with the Eagle and swastika to the "Slavs" and so a special National emblem was designed for the Eastern people as can be seen below .
To get round the award problem, some units issued make believe awards on a regimental basis. These were worn with pride for a time until it was realized that other German units considered these to be "mickey mouse" awards.
It took a great amount of pressure but finally, on the 14th of June 1942, nearly a year later, Hitler gave the approval of an official award to be given to the "Eastern People or Ostvolk"
These awards came in two classes and five grades, this is then sub divided into Military (With Swords) and Merit (without swords)
The First class came in a pin back form not unlike the Iron cross pin. The award consists of a 50mm 8 pointed star burst with two inner rope borders around a central flower. There is no swastika at all present. The award comes in two grades, Gold and Silver. Both of these come with or without swords.
Like its Iron Cross 2nd class counterpart, the Ostvolk second class awards are suspended from a ribbon. The colour of the ribbon depends on the class. The highest 2nd class grade is a gold star 40mm in length, this is suspended from a 30mm lime green ribbon with two red stripes. The silver class is suspended from a darker green ribbon with two white stripes and finally the lowest grade, the bronze is suspended from a plain green ribbon.
There are two interesting variations to these medals, one type consists of the medals rope border, on some it has none at all. This is believed to be a manufacturers variation and the other variation is to do with the ribbon colours:
Very rarely one may encounter The gold 2nd class being suspended from a 26mm wide light yellow ribbon with a central 1.5mm thin stripe of red, The second silver class from a grass green with a central dark blue central stripe and finally the bronze class suspended from a lime Green ribbon with a light blue central stripe.
This is probably a manufactures trial that was just issued per se. (Some believe that this ribbon is for the Vlassov Troops and in some places it is referred to as the "Vlassov ribbon". However, if this were really so, then surely the ribbon would be more common and photo records of Vlassov troops wearing this ribbon would probably have shown up by now. (Vlasov ROA numbered nearly ½ a million men by the end of the war!).
A while later it became available to the German forces in the silver grades only. The reason was two fold for this;-
1). It created a feeling of comradeship between the German and Russian counterparts.
2). For the award to be given to a German he had to hold the Iron Cross 2nd class and the 1st Class Iron Cross before he could be awarded the 1st Class Ostvolk award in silver. This distinction elevated the award on par to the Iron Cross and removed the "micky mouse" stigma attached to it when it was only a "Ostvolk" award.
The award was as always noted in the recipients pay book as well as a citation issued. These citations can be Bilingual (e.g. both Russian and German) and are in fact rare.
Just like the Iron Cross 2nd class, these awards also come in a paper packet with the full title printed in black to the front .
(Please note that in Germany this awarded is regarded highly and as a consequence the price in Germany is approx. 50% higher)
Copyright ©1999- 2019 held by