Sudetenland Commemorative Medal

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Sudetenland Commemorative Medal I.jpg

The Sudetenland Commemorative Medal (German: Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938) is a commemorative medal instituted on 18 October 1938 and awarded to soldiers and civilians who participated in the 1 October 1938 liberation of the Sudetenland by Germany or contributed significantly to this goal. The decoration was one of the three "Flower War medals".


White porcelain medal (Meißen) to commemorate the liberation of the Sudetenland in 1938
Sudetenland Commemorative Medal with clasp including award case, uniform ribbon and pins (without and with clasp) for civilians

The Sudetenland was a region occupied by Czechoslovakia since December 1918 on the border with Germany where the vast majority of the population were ethnic Germans. In 1919, there were 646,800 German and 25,000 non-German residents in the Sudetenland province.

The right to self-determination of the German population in the Sudetenland (German Bohemians and German Moravians), who founded the independent provinces of German Bohemia and Sudetenland in October 1918, was not taken into account in the State Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (signed on 10 September 1919, effective on 16 July 1920). They were de facto handed over to the Czechs like slaves without rights. The new "master" tried to drive the German language and German culture out of them, but were not successful. The Sudeten Germans longed for their fatherland and never stopped dreaming of reunification.

At the Munich Conference on 29 and 30 September 1938, attended by Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, the borders of Czechoslovakia were revised and the German region was granted to Germany. As a result, most of the Sudeten German areas were declared part of the Reichsgau Sudetenland. As early as 1 October 1938, Wehrmacht units began to march into the first of the five designated zones under General Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb. On 10 October 1938, the taking possession of the last zone – as planned in the Munich Agreement – was ended.


The circular medal with a diameter of 32 mm was awarded to all German Reich officials and members of the German Wehrmacht and SS-Verfügungstruppe who entered the Sudetenland on 18 October 1938, and to Sudeten patriots who had worked, strived and suffered at the hands of the Czechoslovakians for unification with the German Vaterland.

On the obverse two raised male figures, the one on the right bearing the German flag in his left hand, with his right hand placed around the shoulders of the figure on the left, with broken chains around his right arm, symbolic of the liberation of the Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovak oppression, with the German eagle (Reichsadler) directly below.

On the reverse is the inscription date "1. ./. Oktober ./. 1938" (1 October 1938). The date is surrounded with the words "Ein Volk 卐 Ein Reich 卐 Ein Führer 卐" (One People, One Reich, One Leader). The medal was die-struck and high in detail, with a bronze finish. It was suspended from a striped black, red, black ribbon and white outer stripes, the colors of the Sudetenland.


The proposals for the award of the medal were made by the Reich Minister of the Interior (Wilhelm Frick), for members of the Wehrmacht by the Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht (Wilhelm Keitel) and presented to Hitler for approval by the Minister of State and Head of the Presidential Chancellery (Otto Meissner). When the medal was handed out, the recipient received a certificate of ownership issued by the Minister of State and Head of the Presidential Chancellery Meissner. In the event of his death, there was no obligation for his surviving dependents to return it, the medal itself remained with his surviving relatives as a souvenir.

“Prague Castle” clasp

On 1 May 1939, in addition to the previous ordinance of 18 October 1938, the “Clasp for the Medal in Memory of 1 October 1938”, colloquially known as the "Prague Castle" clasp or "Prague Castle" bar, was instituted. The prerequisite for the award was that those people who had already been awarded the Sudetenland Medal for their services to the reunification of the Sudetenland with the German Reich could also receive the clasp if:

In plain language this meant:

  • Medal: for services to the reunification of the Sudetenland with the German Reich; awarded 1,162,617 times.
  • Clasp: medal already awarded and military or civilian merits in the creation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia; awarded 134,563 times.

The design for the clasp also comes from Richard Klein; it is bronzed and measures 11 x 31 mm. However, there are also smaller variants, especially when the clasp is placed on a triangular ribbon. The front of the clasp shows the relief of Prague Castle, the “seat of government” of the Protectorate. On the back there are two soldered split pins or bending tabs that were pierced through the ribbon and bent at the back. In contrast to the medal, the ribbon buckle only differed in the attached miniature clasp. Furthermore, when the medal clasp was awarded, the medal itself was not awarded again, but only the supporting piece. However, both pieces together at the first award ceremony.