Cross, Honour of the German Mother

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A Cross of Honour of the German Mother (Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter) . The bronze cross, also commonly known as the Mother's Cross, features a black enamelled swastika at the centre and has four white, blue and gold enamelled arms with gilt rays in between them. " DER DEUTSCHEN MUTTER " is marked around the swastika on the obverse. "16 / December / 1938 " is marked on the reverse. A copy of the signature of Adolf Hitler also features.
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This German 'Mother's Cross' was gifted to Taranaki Museum as part of the collection of south Taranaki lawyer John Houston. " Beginning on Mother's Day 1939, the Mother Cross, "the German Volk's visible sign of thanks to child-rich mothers," became the primary Nazi honorary award for mothers. From its inception, the Nazi Mother Cross fused the ideas and feelings associated with Mother's Day with Nazi racial and population policy. The crosses were distributed according to the number of children a woman had: bronze (level three) for four to five children, silver (level two) for six to seven children, and gold (level one) for eight or more children. Stepchildren, adoptive children, or stillborn children were not included in the reckoning. The guidelines specified that both parents had to be "genetically fit" (erbtuchtig) German citizens and that mothers had to be "worthy"." Source From Nurturing the Nation to Purifying the Volk: Weimar and Nazi Family Policy 1918-1945 by Michelle Mouton p.143.
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