12 year SS Long Service Medal Award WWII German
SS Long Service Awards (SS-Dienstauszeichnungen) were medals that were given in grades of four years, eight years, twelve years, and twenty-five years. The four and eight-year service awards were in the form of circular medals while the 12 and 25-year service awards were in the form of swastikas. The SS service awards were designed in Munich by Professor Karl Diebitsch. The awards varied in design depending on the length of service of the recipient.
It was first introduced by Adolf Hitler on 30 January 1938, On its reverse side, each award had emblazoned the inscription, in German: FÜR TREUE DIENSTE IN DER SS (“For Loyal Service in the SS”). The medal was awarded to SS members in the SS-Verfügungstruppe, SS-Totenkopfverbände who were on active service. The Nazi Party and German Police had a similar service award. The Nazi Party Long Service Award was given in grades of ten, fifteen, and twenty-five years. The Police Long Service Award was given in grades of eight, eighteen, twenty-five, and forty years (approved but never awarded).
The four-year and eight-year awards were the most common awards. Despite the fact that the whole Nazi movement lasted for little over 25 years (1920-1945) and the SS were founded only in 1925, awards of the 25-year version were made well before 25 years of actual service were completed. This was because the period between 1925 and 1933 (what the Nazis termed Kampfzeit (“Time of Struggle”) counted double, and any service in the Armed Forces in the First World War and afterwards, as well as the Police, was also included. Nevertheless, it was one of the rarer awards given out by Nazi Germany. The awards ceased to be given at the end of 1941.
The four-year service award had a black finish and was awarded only to NCOs and enlisted men. The four-year service medal was manufactured by the firm Petz & Lorenz.
The eight-year service award was finished in bronze and was awarded to all Officers, NCOs and enlisted men. The eight-year service medal was manufactured by the firm Deschler.
The twelve-year service award was in the shape of the swastika, had a silver finish and was awarded to all Officers, NCOs and enlisted men.
The twenty-five-year service award was in the shape of the swastika, had a gold finish and was awarded to all Officers, NCOs and enlisted men.