BERLIN — The German Army today has no awards for courage, only for attendance. The painful debate here over reviving the famed Iron Cross to fill that gap underscores how distant Germany remains from normality when it comes to the military.From Wikipedia:
The history of the Iron Cross, designed by the noted German architect and painter Karl Friedrich Schinkel, dates from 1813 and the Prussian War of Liberation against Napoleon. But as is so often the case here, it is the Nazi history that takes precedence.
What frustrates ... supporters of the Iron Cross is that they see it as having emerged from an era about which they believe Germans could be proud and should learn more.
“This was part and parcel of the famous Prussian enlightened reform era, which included, a year earlier in 1812, Jewish emancipation, legal rights for Jewish citizens,” said Michael Wolffsohn, a professor of modern history at the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich.
The Iron Cross was founded on 10 March 1813 in Breslau and awarded to soldiers during the Wars of Liberation against Napoleon. King William I of Prussia authorized further awards on 19 July 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War. Recipients of the 1870 Iron Cross who were still in service in 1895 were authorized to purchase a 25-year clasp consisting of the numerals "25" on three oak leaves. The Iron Cross was reauthorized by Emperor William II on 5 August 1914, at the start of the First World War. During these three periods, the Iron Cross was an award of the Kingdom of Prussia, although given Prussia's preeminent place in the German Empire formed in 1871, it tended to be treated as a generic German decoration.
From The Daily Mail:
A defense ministry source said: "Hitler won the Iron Cross first class in WW1 and we cannot have accusations that we are bringing back something that was revered by him. He regarded his medal as the high mark of his life before he gained power as dictator of Nazi Germany."What about Volkswagens, let alone the U.S. Army's adaptation of the 3rd Reich style military helmets?
Interestingly, none of these news articles mention the earlier use of the Iron Cross by the Roman Catholic Teutonic Order that was founded in Acre within modern day Israel, and which invaded Prussia (that is, the area later known as East Prussia) in 1230, which later, in 1525, became a Lutheran ruled state with the conversion of Brandenburg Grand Master Albert and his taking the title Duke of Prussia.
Again, the media disregards religious history.