Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mutterkreuz


The Cross of Honor of the German Mother (German: Ehrenkreuz der deutschen Mutter or more colloquially Mutterkreuz), but often referred to simply as the Mothers Cross, was an award of the Nazi regime. This award was instituted on 16 December 1938 as part of Hitler's initiative to encourage Aryan population growth. Only women of German origin qualified for such awards, though women from absorbed Germanic countries and areas (such as Austria, the Sudetenland and Danzig) were also eligible. A mother could be awarded a bronze, silver, or gold cross depending on the number of children she had borne. Eight or more would entitle the woman to a gold cross, six to seven for silver, and four to five for bronze. The medal was not a permanent award, as mothers stood to be stripped of the Mother's Cross if they proved themselves unworthy through neglect of their children, marital infidelity, or any other social offense. The crosses were awarded annually on the second Sunday in May (Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day), so despite it's institution in 1938, the first awards were rendered in May 1939. The last awards were presented in 1944. The first woman to receive the Cross of Honor of the German Mother was Magda Goebbels, the wife of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. The couple had six children, and Madga was awarded the Silver Medal.

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