On this website we state German decorations that were awarded during the reign of Adolf Hitler from 1933 until the total surrender in May 1945, decorations awarded or instituted after May 1945 and have a direct relation to the Second World War and decorations instituted before 1933 that have a direct relation with the NSDAP.
As a nation, Germany is a relative young country. Before 1918 it consisted of a number of smaller nations that were more or less cooperative with one another. At one time there were as many as 300 different states. All of these separate states had their own governmental system that could either be a Kingdom, a Duchy or a Principality. Every separate state had its own system of decorations.
As a result of the fact that in the 18th and 19th century, Germany was in a constant state of war between the separate states and war with neighbouring country’s , the first Orders were only military Orders. Some of the earliest Orders are the 1736 Saxon Military Order of St. Henry and the world famous Prussian Order Pour le Mérite dating from 1740. These Orders were normally divided into three typical classes, Grand Cross, Commander and Knight,...