Military Wiki
Ostvolk Medal also known as the Eastern Peoples Award
Awarded by the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories and Wehrmacht
Type Military award
Eligibility citizens of the Soviet Union under German command;
Germans serving in units manned by Soviet personnel
Awarded for bravery (with swords) or merit (without swords)
Established 14 July 1942
Total awarded several thousands
DEU Ostvolk Medal 2Kl Gold BAR.svg
2nd Class in gold ribbon bar
DEU Ostvolk Medal 2Kl Silver BAR.svg
2nd Class in silver ribbon bar
DEU Ostvolk Medal 2Kl Bronze BAR.svg
2nd Class in bronze ribbon bar

The Ostvolk Medal (Bravery and Merit award for members of the Eastern Peoples - German language: Tapferkeits- und Verdienst Auszeichnung für Ostvölker) was a military award in Nazi Germany, bestowed to the personnel from the former Soviet Union (Ostvolk in German, literally 'the East people'). The award was designed by Elmar Lang and existed in two classes: 1st, in gold or silver, and 2nd (gold, silver or bronze). There were two versions: with swords, for bravery, and without, for merit. The medal represented an octactinal star with plant pattern in the centre. The 1st class was 48 mm in diameter, attachable to the cloth by pin. The 2nd class had 40 mm in diameter and was worn on a 32 mm wide ribbon. In December, 1943 seventeen workers from Zhytomyr (including one woman) were awarded with bronze stars for "saving a valuable property from Bolsheviks".[1]

Ribbons and wearing

  • Green with two red stripes (2nd class in gold)
  • Green with two white stripes (2nd class in silver)
  • Green (2nd class in bronze)

According to some sources, special ribbons were issued:

  • light yellow with dark red central stripe (2nd class in gold)
  • grass green with dark blue central stripe (2nd class in silver)
  • lime green with light blue central stripe (2nd class in bronze)

There was also a rare 2nd variant class in gold. The 1st class was worn on the lower left breast, like the Iron Cross, and the 2nd class was worn only as a ribbon.[2] The Germans had to be wearing the Iron Cross 2nd and 1st class before obtaining the silver Ostvolk Medal.

Bronislav Kaminski wearing the 1st class of the award on his tunic below and to the left of the Iron Cross


  1. (Russian)Медаль для восточных народов
  2. Ostvolk Medal Axis History Factbook

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