The War Honor Cross (aka Hindenburg Cross) was established in 1934 and was awarded to members of the German military who served during WWI. The version with swords was for front line troops. It was also give without swords to military non-combatants. Over 6 million of the combatant type were issued, making it a very common medal for collectors. (About equal to the US National Defense Medal.) The award certificate is somewhat less common but they’re still not very valuable. There are also many variations in design and format, depending upon where and when it was issued. The last awards were made in 1944.
The certificate shown here is quite unusual and I believe it can legitimately be considered “US militaria”. It was issued by the German consulate in New York to a recipient in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. At the time it was issued, 1936, the recipient was a US citizen.
Online research shows that the recipient, Kurt Patsch, was born in Germany in October, 1899, so he probably entered the service no earlier than 1917. Unfortunately I don’t have any specific service details other than his rank, Arbeiter, which translates as laborer or worker. He emigrated from Germany to the US in 1922. In April, 1928 he was naturalized as a US citizen while living in Johnstown. He continued to live there until his death in 1976.
So, a German medal and document, but issued in the United States to a US citizen. Is it US militaria or not?
(I’ve never seen another example of one of this document that was issued in the US, however an advanced collector of Imperial German medals to me that he’s seen one or two others. But he still considered it a very rare and unusual document.)
Edited by Adam R, 12 November 2015 - 02:40 PM.