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Here we have a rare LDO marked Kriegsverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse mit Schwertern by Hymmen & Co. of Lüdenscheid Karlstr. The War Merit Cross with Swords was awarded to military personnel for meritorious service above and beyond the call of duty (which needed not occur while facing the enemy). The award is constructed out of a die struck zinc base that has been silver washed. The obverse depicts a centrally placed mobile swastika that is surrounded by an oak leaf wreath, which is tied together at the top and bottom, and is above a pebbled Maltese style cross that has two crossed broad swords coming out of its corners. The full back reverse is maker marked: “L/53” (Hymmen & Co. of Lüdenscheid Karlstr). It also has a stamped hinge, c shaped and a tombak coke bottle pin. Some of the silver wash remains intact. It measures approximately 1 15/16 inches wide and tall. This is the only L/53 cross that I’ve come across thus far! Very rare.
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