The Deutscher Orden des Großdeutschen Reiches was at first developed as Grand Cross for the decoration order of the Goldene Ehrenzeichen der NSDAP. The by the Führer in 1939 wished changing of the Parteiabzeichen der NSDAP in an Order with different classes was not completed when the Second World War broke out.
According the design of the Order, any member of the NSDAP could obtain the right to wear the Parteiabzeichen and according different criteria it was to be selected which of the following grades was to be awarded. A Silberne Ehrenzeichen der NSDAP was to be awarded in submission by either a Reichs- or a Gauleiter and a Goldene Ehrenzeichen was tob e instituted for special services towards the National Socialism or to the NSDAP party. As a first step in the institution, within the NSDAP there was,beside the Goldene Ehrenzeichen (ook wel Goldene Parteiabzeichen), instituted the Großkreuz des Goldenen Ehrenzeichens der NSDAP. Unknown is wether the internal institution was actually supported with awarding criteria. The Grand Cross was only to be awarded by Adolf Hitler him self.
The sudden death of Reichsminister Dr. Todt was used by Hitler to award the Grand Cross without officially instituting the decoration. After his death memorial service to Todt at the Staatsakt in the Mosaiksaal of the new Reichkanslerei, on 12th February 1942, Hitler placed the on the award pillow on Todt his coffin. Next Hitler supposedly declared that the Deutscher Orden was to be ranked above all German decorations. Untill this day however this has not been confirmed.
Of the ten confirmed and one unconfirmed awardings, only that one to Konstantin Hierl is known to have received a award document and containing the discription „Das Goldene Kreuz des Deutschen Ordens mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern“, given in a special box. Probably Hierl can be stated as the only recipient who received an official award document.
If the discription means that the decoration was awarded in different formes (with and or without Eichenlaub and Schwertern) is unknown and unconfirmed. Probably each time the same decoration was awarded. Photos of the specimens that were awarded to Todt and Heydrich at their funeral seem to confirm this.
Besides the awarded decorations there were more produced for further awarding.
A letter from Reichsleiter Martin Bormanns to Reichsleiter Dr. Robert Ley dated
3.5.1944 can be read that for every grade in the order, 20 pieces of each grade were tob e produced according a written order by Adolf Hitler that was received at the Atjutantur.
Up to this date that written order however has not been recovered.