Medal of Victory and Freedom 1945 (Polish: Medal Zwycięstwa i Wolności 1945) was a Polish military decoration, awarded to persons, who fought during the World War II against Germany.
It was introduced by the decree of the Council of Ministers, approved by the State National Council (Krajowa Rada Narodowa) on October 26, 1945. According to the decree, it was instituted in order: to commemorate the victory of the Polish Nation and Its Allies above a barbarism of hitlerism, and a triumph of a democratic freedom idea, and to award persons, who helped in this victory and triumph by their acting or suffering in the country or abroad, by May 9, 1945.
It was awarded to:
- soldiers of the Polish People's Army (Ludowe Wojsko Polskie) in the USSR
- soldiers fighting in the Invasion of Poland in 1939
- soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces in the West, provided that they come back to Poland after the war
- Poles, who fought against Germans in allied armies
- Polish partisans fighting in the country or abroad
- members of the Soviet, Yugoslav or France partisan units.
- armed forces members, who served at least three months by May 9, 1945 in auxiliary units, helping in the victory.
It was awarded by the Prime Minister, from 1958 by the Council of State. It ceased to be awarded in 1992. About 670,000 Medals were awarded by 1985.
It was first awarded on May 9, 1946, given among others to Bolesław Bierut.
The Medal was 33 mm in diameter. Obverse shows the eagle in the center (the Polish coat-of-arms) surrounded by the inscription: "KRAJOWA RADA NARODOWA". The reverse bears the horizontal inscription in four lines: "R.P. / ZWYCIĘSTWO / I WOLNOŚĆ / 9.V.1945" ("Polish Republic / Victory / And Freedom / 9 May 1945"). A ribbon is 35 mm wide, of three red strips and two white strips, 7 mm wide. From 1960 the ribbon was 33 mm wide. In an order of precedency, Medal Zwycięstwa i Wolności 1945 was worn after Medal za Odrę, Nysę, Bałtyk (Medal for the Oder, the Nissa and the Baltic).
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