|Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany|
Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Grand Cross star, special class
|Awarded by the president of Germany|
|Type||Order of Merit with seven regular and two special classes|
|Eligibility||Civilians and military personnel|
|Established||7 September 1951|
|Total awarded||257,000 (as of 31 December 2017)|
Grand Cross Special Class
Ribbon bars of the Order of Merit
The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, or Bundesverdienstorden, BVO)is the only federal decoration of Germany. It was created by the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss, on 7 September 1951, and has been awarded to over 200,000 individuals in total, both Germans and foreigners. Since the 1990s the number of annual awards has declined from over 4,000, first to around 2,300–2,500 per year, and now under 2,000, with a low of 1752 in 2011. In recent years women have made up a steady 30–31% of recipients. Colloquially, the decorations of the different classes of the Order are also known as the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz).
A state decoration is an object, such as a medal or the insignia of an order, that is awarded by a sovereign state to honor the recipient. The term includes:
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
The President of Germany, officially the Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany, is the head of state of Germany.
Most of the German federal states (Länder) have each their own order of merit as well, with the exception of the Free and Hanseatic Cities of Bremen and Hamburg, which reject any orders (by old tradition their citizens, particularly former or present senators, will refuse any decoration in the form of an order — the most famous example: former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt).
Germany is a federal republic consisting of sixteen states. Since today's Germany was formed from an earlier collection of several states, it has a federal constitution, and the constituent states retain a measure of sovereignty. With an emphasis on geographical conditions, Berlin and Hamburg are frequently called Stadtstaaten (city-states), as is the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, which in fact includes the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The remaining 13 states are called Flächenländer.
The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages, and diminished slowly after 1450.
The City Municipality of Bremen is the capital of the German federal state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, a two-city-state consisting of the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven. With around 570,000 inhabitants, the Hanseatic city is the 11th largest city of Germany as well as the second largest city of Northern Germany after Hamburg.
The order was established on 7 September 1951 by the decree of the then Federal President Theodor Heuss.The decree, which was co-signed by the President Heuss together with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and the Minister of the Interior, Robert Lehr, signed, states:
Theodor Heuss was a West German liberal politician who served as the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1959. Beside the stern chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Heuss' cordial manners largely contributed to the stabilization of democracy in West Germany during the Wirtschaftswunder years. Prior to his career as a politician, he was a political journalist.
Chancellor is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the audience. A chancellor's office is called a chancellery or chancery. The word is now used in the titles of many various officers in all kinds of settings. Nowadays the term is most often used to describe:
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman who served as the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963. He was co-founder and first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a Christian Democratic party that under his leadership became one of the most influential parties in the country. As party leader he worked closely with the United States.
Desiring to visibly express recognition and gratitude to deserving men and women of the German people and of foreign countries, on the second Anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany, I establish the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is awarded for achievements that served the rebuilding of the country in the fields of political, socio-economic and intellectual activity, and is intended to mean an award of all those whose work contributes to the peaceful rise of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Order comprises four groups with seven regular and two special classes, hereafter the official denominations in English:
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl was a German statesman who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and as the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 1973 to 1998. From 1969 to 1976, Kohl was minister president of the state Rhineland-Palatinate. Kohl chaired the Group of Seven in 1985 and 1992. In 1998 he became honorary chairman of the CDU, resigning from the position in 2000.
The President of the Federal Republic holds the Grand Cross special class ex officio. It is awarded to him in a ceremony by the President of the Bundestag, attended by the Chancellor of Germany, the President of the Bundesrat, and the Supreme Court President. Other than the German president, only a foreign head of state and their spouse can be awarded with this highest class. There is also the provision of awarding the Grand Cross in a "special issue" with laurel wreath design (Großkreuz in besonderer Ausführung), in which the central medallion with the black eagle is surrounded by a stylized laurel wreath in relief. This Grand Cross special issue has been awarded so far only twice, to former German chancellors Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl.
Except for the lowest class, the badge is the same for all classes, but with slightly different versions for men and women (slightly smaller badge and ribbon for women):
The badge is a golden cross enamelled in red, with a central disc bearing a black eagle.
The star is a golden star with straight rays, its size and points vary according to class, with the badge superimposed upon it.
The riband is red with gold-black-gold stripes.
Edmund Michał Piszcz was, from 22 October 1988, the bishop of Warmia, Poland. On 25 March 1992 he was promoted to the rank of archbishop, together with his diocese, the Archbishopric of Warmia. He retired on 30 May 2006.
Between 1947 and 1991, during the years of the Cold War, a large number of military awards and decorations were created by various nations to recognize the undeclared hostilities of the era. Military medals of the Vietnam War and the Korean War are the best known due to the extreme level of the conflicts.
Reinhold Würth is a German businessman and art collector. He took over his father's tiny wholesale screw business at age 19 and built it into the Adolf Würth Group, which posted $13 billion in sales in 2013.
The Order of the German Eagle was an award of the German Nazi regime, predominantly to foreign diplomats. The Order was instituted on 1 May 1937 by Adolf Hitler. It ceased to be awarded following the collapse of Nazi Germany at the end of World War II in Europe. The wearing of the Order of the German Eagle is prohibited in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Bavarian Military Merit Order was established on July 19, 1866 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It was the kingdom's main decoration for bravery and military merit for officers and higher-ranking officials. Civilians acting in support of the army were also made eligible for the decoration. The Military Merit Order ranked below the Military Order of Max Joseph (Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden), which was Bavaria's highest military honor for officers.
The House and Merit Order of Duke Peter Frederick Louis or proper German Oldenburg House and Merit Order of Duke Peter Frederick Louis was a civil and military order of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, a member state of the German Empire. The order was founded by Grand Duke Augustus of Oldenburg on November 27, 1838, to honor his father, Peter Frederick Louis of Oldenburg. It became obsolete in 1918 after the abdication of the last grand duke.
The Military Order of Max Joseph was the highest military order of the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was founded on 1 January 1806 by Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, the first king of Bavaria. The order came in three classes:
Volker Wieker is the former Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, and a general of the German Army. Trained as an artillery officer, Wieker served in every major foreign Bundeswehr deployment since 1996, including Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.
Arnulf Baring was a German lawyer, journalist, political scientist, contemporary historian and author. He was a member of the German-British Baring family of bankers.
The honours system in the Republic of Austria is a means of rewarding individuals' personal achievement, or service to Austria by state decorations and medals.
Heinz Oestergaard was a German fashion designer.
The Gesetz über Titel, Orden und Ehrenzeichen, often shortened to Ordensgesetz, is a federal law of Germany detailing the treatment and handling procedures for civilian and military decorations. The law was put into effect on July 26, 1957, and fulfilled two primary purposes. First, it stipulated how medals and military decorations from before 1945 should be handled. Second, it was intended to describe treatment and procedures for medals in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Albert Order was created on 31 December 1850 by King Frederick Augustus II of Saxony to commemorate Albert III, Duke of Saxony. It was to be awarded to anyone who had served the state well, for civil virtue, science and art.
Kurt Andersen was a general in the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany during World War II and in the Bundesgrenzschutz of West Germany. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
Albert Bürger was a fire official in West Germany. During World War II, he served in the Luftwaffe and was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
Reimund Neugebauer is a German mechanical engineer and professor who has been working in the field of machine tools and forming processes. On October 1, 2012, he took office as the tenth President of the Fraunhofer Society, the largest research organization in Europe, from his predecessor Hans-Jörg Bullinger.
Marek Prawda is a Polish diplomat. Currently he is Head of Representation - Poland at European Commission since April 2016.
The orders, decorations, and medals of the German states, in which each states of Germany has devised a system of orders and awards to honour residents for actions or deeds that benefit their local community or state, are in turn subsumed within the German honours system. Each state sets their own rules and criteria on eligibility and also how each medal is awarded and presented. Most of the orders allow for the recipient to wear their orders in public.
The Order of the Leopard is a merit order of the former Republic of Bophuthatswana. The Order was instituted in order to recognise service to the people of the Republic of Bophuthatswana. It was instituted by the President of the Republic of Bophuthatswana by official Warrant on 28 December 1979.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany .|