By François Saez and Jacques
The decoration was presented accompanied by a provisional certificate (Vorläufiges Besitzzeugnis) and/or a formal certificate (Besitzurkunde), the latter being sent directly to the recipient’s home address for the Army, or presented to the recipient in the Luftwaffe or the Kriegsmarine.
Receipt of this decoration was scrupulously inscribed in the personal papers of the recipient (Soldbuch & Wehrpass), and added to the ’’List of Honor’’ published two times a month, listing the new recipients of the decoration (whether in Gold or in Silver). This List was separately published by the Luftwaffe for its personnel and by the Army (including the la Waffen SS) for theirs. A similar List was published for the Kriegsmarine.
|Soldbuch entry for a pilot, veteran of the Spanish
campaign (Spanish Cross in silver with swords), Oberfeldwebel Heinz Holzhey from 2.(H) / AG 31
|Image below does not enlarge|
|Wehrpass entry from an officer (Oberleutnant Günter Bach) in KG3 later moved to NJG2. He was DKiG winner (7.11.1942), has received the honor gobelet (31.08.1942), combined pilot, Spange for bomber: bronze,silver,gold,gold with star, gold with 300, Bulgarian pilot, KRETA cuffband,2nd & 1st class, Hungarian pilot.|
|List of Honor (Images do not enlarge)|
Click on image to enlarge
|Telegram sent to Lt. Paul DOSE (DKiG - 31.08.43) from Stab. III/ Stuka-Geschw.2 "IMMELMANN", RK winner on 04.05.1944 -|
Provisional Certificates for the Cross in Gold:
We have noted that the Army (also including the Waffen SS) issued both a
provisional certificate (Vorläufiges Besitzzeugnis) AND a formal certificate (Besitzurkunde), but the
Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine only issued a formal certificate (Besitzurkunde).
A unique example of a provisional certificate for the Kriegsmarine is
reported, attributed to Oberleutnant zur See d.R. Adolf ROOSEN (7 February 1945 – we consider this type which does not show the design of
the decoration as a variation which remains to be confirmed). All the same, it
seems that the end of the conflict did see the appearance of a Vorläufiges
Besitzzeugnis for the Luftwaffe, but these provisional certificates are not
really considered official documents by the authors. We rather view these only as
temporary documents issued by a unit commander to permit wear of the decoration
before official bestowal of the Besitzurkunde.
The provisional certificates (Vorläufiges Besitzzeugnis ) are of the format 150mm x 210mm on fine paper. The text is printed ; the design of the Cross is printed at the top. The recipient’s personal details are typed in. One may distinguish 5 different types :
- ‘’IN NAMEN DES FÜHRER UND OBERSTEN BEFEHLSHABERS DER WEHRMACHT’’. It is signed by GFM von BRAUCHITSCH. ‘’Der Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres’’
- ‘’IN NAMEN DES FÜHRER UND OBERSTEN BEFEHLSHABER DER WEHRMACHT’’. It is signed by GFM KEITEL. The old title is crossed out and replaced by ‘’ Oberkommando des Heeres’’ typed in.
- ’’IN NAMEN DES FÜHRER’’. It is signed by GFM KEITEL. The title ‘’Oberkommando des Heeres’’ is printed.
- ’’IN NAMEN DES FÜHRER’’. It is signed by GFM KEITEL ‘’Oberkommando des Heeres’’, and the dots beneath the space for the date are no longer used, but are entirely typed.
- ’’IN NAMEN DES FÜHRER’’. It is signed by GFM KEITEL‘’Oberkommando des Heeres’’ . The stamp is different from the two previous and no longer includes the inscription ‘’Heerespersonalamt’’.
Feldwebel Walter MANTWITZ
8./ GR 43
|Feldwebel Bernhard HESSELER
6./Rgts. Gruppe 555
|Oberfeldwebel Horst HAIN
4./Kradsch. Btl. 23
|SS-Sturmbannführer Alfred ARNOLD
|Hptm. Karl SCHAAB, Kdr. Res. Gr. Btl. 205|
Provisional Certificate for the Cross in Silver:
This is only reported for the Army. It is difficult to establish generalities of fact due to the rarity of this class. The type presented is different than for the Gold. The personal details are typed without mention of the unit. It is signed by the Chief of the ‘’Heeres Personalamt’’ who up until 2/10/42 was GenMaj/GenLt BURGDORF ; then up to 12/10/44 by GENLT LINNARZ ; and finally until 15/1/45 by GenLt MEISEL. It bears the inscription ‘’Das DEUTSCHE KREUZ IN SILBER’’.
|Dr. Karl RICHTER
San. Offz.zbV b. Armee-Arzt AOK 17
The Formal Certificate :
The formal certificates (Besitzurkunde ) are of 254mm x 356mm format , on heavy
paper for all branches of the armed forces. The decoration is shown on the
document at the top center. The formal certificates are different for each
branch of service.
Two variants exist in designs of the Cross. This describes the Gold. The unit is inscribed below the rank and name of the recipient.
Up to 21 December 1941, they are signed by GFM von BRAUCHITSCH. The personal details were written in red-brown ink. The design of the Cross is gilt. The stamp is in blue-gray ink. The document is conferred by the ‘’OBERBEFEHLSHABER DES HEERES’’.
From 21 December 1941 to the end, they are signed by GFM KEITEL. The personal details are hand written in red-brown ink. Conferred on this version by the ‘’OBERKOMMANDO DES HEERES’’
A model for the Cross in Silver is reported, with the Cross printed in silver,
signed by GFM KEITEL. The name is typed. The pressed seal shows an embossed
eagle. The stamp may be in ink. (source Forman)
|Click on images to enlarge|
Lt. d. R. Gebhard SCHWARZ
Kompanienführer 9./GR 479
Oberfeldwebel Gustav STÜHMER
On these formal certificates (Besitzurkunde), the text is pre-printed, only needing typewritten details for the rank, given name, name and the date of bestowal. (The seal is embossed and shows an eagle holding two crossed Marshal’s batons (emblem of RM GÖRING).
On the example reported for the Cross in Silver, all is identical, with exception of the inscription ‘’DAS DEUTSCHE KREUZ IN SILBER’’.
* Note : as the army paratroopers ceased to exist as of 1.1.39 when the FIB transferred to the Luftwaffe, all DK's documents given to former army paras were in the Luftwaffe format. The first former army paratrooper to receive the DK i G was Hans-Georg LEHMANN who won the award on 25.2.42.
formal DK document from former Army Paratrooper Oberfeldwebel Fritz Rentzsch.
DKiG 23.7.44 (listed in the books 01/01/45)
|The first former army paratrooper to
receive the DK i G was Hans-Georg LEHMANN, who won the award on 25.2.42
Two types of formal certificate exist for the Cross in Gold: The seal is embossed
- signed by Grossadmiral RAEDER ‘’DER OBERBEFEHLSHABER DER KRIEGSMARINE’’, ‘’IN NAMEN DES FÜHRER UND OBERSTEN BEFEHLSHABERS DER WEHRMACHT’’, the personal details are typed without mention of the unit.
- Signed by Grossadmiral DÖNITZ, ‘’IN NAMEN DES FÜHRER’’. The personal details are typed without mention of the unit.
|Oberleutnant zur See Johann-Heirich FEHLER
Hilfskrz. "Atlantis" ("Schiff 16")
|Obermaschinisten Gehard HEBER "U-333'"/10. Unterseeboots - Fl.
DKiG 19.7.1944 (original signature of Grossadmiral DÖNITZ)
For the example observed for the Cross in Silver, everything is identical to the second type, except for the inscription ‘’DAS DEUTSCHE KREUZ IN SILBER’’.
The signatories on the Certificate ( Besitzurkunde ) were :
All the formal certificates issued by the Luftwaffe bear the signature (often only a facsimile) of Reichsmarschall Göring (in the center) attested by the signature (in the lower right) of a General officer of the Luftwaffe as follows:
Up to February 1943 : KASTNER-KIRSDORF
From February 1943 to 20 December 1944 : LOERZER
From 20 December 1944 to the end : MEISTER
|Click on images to enlarge|
|DKiG awarded to Lt Hanns BUSS from 2. (H) / AG 12
Document signed by KASTNER-KIRSDORF
|DKiG awarded to Oblt B. STUTE from 1/Transp. Geschw.3
Document signed by LOERZER
|DKiG document to Lt.Otto Bach (JG1) the DKiG - awarded posthumously - document signed by MEISTER|
Until 29 January 1943: certificates signed by Grossadmiral Raeder, from then on by Grossadmiral Dönitz.
Bootsmannsmaaten Walter ZABEL
Heer/Waffen SS :
Until 21 December 1941: certificates signed by Generalfeldmarschall von Brauchitsch,
from then on by Generalfeldmarschall Keitel
* They also signed for the Waffen SS
No documents for the German Cross in Gold With Diamonds exist.
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