German Cross of Honour for the Great War, 1914-1918 : David Schonbach

Place Europe: Germany
Accession Number REL30868
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Bronze
Maker Unknown
Place made Germany
Date made c 1934
Conflict Period 1930-1939
First World War, 1914-1918

German Cross of Honour for the Great War, (without swords, indicating non-combatant war service). Unnamed as issued. The medal, made of bronze, is a cross patee with the dates '1914 1918' in the centre, surrounded by an oak wreath. On the reverse is an unidentified makers mark comprising the letters 'JK' in a triangle. Suspension is by a ring on the top arm of the cross, and the silk ribbon is black, with three 5 mm bands of white, red and white evenly spaced across it.

History / Summary

Cross of Honour awarded to David Schonbach. Mr Schonbach was born in 1880, and is thought to have served as a Jewish chaplain with the German forces during the First World War. His death in late 1918 is believed to have been caused by wounds from a grenade explosion. The Cross of Honour for the Great War 1914-1918 ('Ehrenkreuz des Weltkrieges 1914-1918') was instituted by German President Hindenburg in July 1934, and is thus considered by many to be a Nazi award, although it has no markings to indicate this. Intended as a service medal, it was awarded in three classes; for frontline service, non-combatant service and for widows and parents of those killed. In all, nearly 8 million of the crosses were produced and distributed, the combatant version being the most common.