Wehrmacht and SS Orders and Decoration documents
by Christian Jürs
Called by the Germans ‘Verleihungs-urkunden’ or Presentation documents, when a member of the German military was presented with a decoration, he received a document attesting to this.
These documents were printed on paper and were usually 150×210 mm in size. The awardees name and unit were typed onto the paper (hand-lettered in some cases) and the document was signed by authorized personnel and most generally had the so-called ‘Dienstsiegel’ or unit stamp, on the lower left side.
It should be noted that original documents were always printed on paper which did not contain chemical whiteners and are non-reactive to an ultra-violet light (or black light). As paper whiteners were not used until 1951, any document purporting to be of an earlier date that reacts positively to the black light should be considered as not authentic.
We show here five sample original documents.
The first is a presentation paper for the destruction of a tank through individual effort. It is 150×210 mm. This is a custom-made document for the Waffen-SS and is signed by an SS-Oberführer (or Colonel) in the SS-Totenkopf Division.
The second, upper left, is the official presentation paper for the Army Antiaircraft badge. It is 150×210 mm. This was presented to a Waffen-SS NCO.
The third, upper right, is the Kreigsmarine’s presentation document for the German Cross in Silver, It is 150x21mm. It was presented to an Admiral and is signed by Grand Admiral Donitz. This document, unlike the ones for Army personnel, had no official unit stamp.
The fourth, lower, is a Luftwaffe presentation paper for the Luftwaffe’s Anti Aircraft artillery (Flakartillerie) badge. It is 210×150 mm. This is a custom-designed document for the 4th Flak-Division.