Nazi Party Long Service Award
The Nazi Party Long Service Award (NSDAP-Dienstauszeichnung), sometimes called the NSDAP Long Service Award, was a political award in the form of a badge of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NSDAP), commonly known as the Nazi Party.
The award was given in three grades of ten years, fifteen years, and twenty-five years of service. On its reverse side, each award had emblazoned the inscription, in German: Treue für Führer und Volk ("Loyalty to Leader and People"). The design of all three classes had a national eagle emblem surrounded by a wreath within a four-pointed cross (Ordenskreuz) with rays which was suspended from a 30mm ribbon. On 2 April 1939, Adolf Hitler ordered its institution for male and female members of the Nazi Party who met certain qualifications. The award was first given out on 30 January 1940.
Despite the fact that the entire Nazi movement lasted for little over 25 years (1919-1945), the awards were made well before the stated years of actual service were completed. This was because the period between 1925 and 1933 was known by the Nazis as the Kampfzeit ("Time of Struggle"). The service time for the award was counted double from February 1925 through January 1933. Service in any Party organization or formation counted. The time of service had to be unbroken, with exceptions for:
- Compulsory military service, not to exceed two years time.
- Military service against the Republican Government in the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939).
- German military service after September 1939.
Ten year award
The ten year service award was the 3rd class award. It was a bronze medal which measured 43mm and was suspended from a 30mm brown ribbon which had double white stripes on each side. The reverse side inscription was done in raised lettering.
Fifteen year award
The fifteen year service award was the 2nd class award. It had the same design as the 3rd class award but, was cast in silver with blue enamel on the arms of the four-pointed cross and the center of the oak leaf wreath. The reverse side inscription was silver with blue enamel lettering. The ribbon was 30mm and in blue with double silver-gray stripes on the sides.
Twenty-five year award
The twenty-five year service medal was the first class award. It was of the same design as the 2nd class award but, gold replaced the silver and it had white enamel on the arms of the four-pointed cross and the center of the oak leaf wreath. The reverse side inscription was gold with white enamel lettering. The ribbon was 30mm and in red with double off-white stripes on the sides with a gold stripe between them. This grade was awarded posthumously, on occasion.
When one of these awards were given to a man, it was worn on the left breast pocket medal bar. Women recipients wore the award as a neck order or a brooch medal suspended from a 15mm ribbon. All three classes of this award were allowed to be worn at the same time.
The Schutzstaffel (SS) and German Police had a similar service award. The SS Long Service Award was given in grades of four years, eight years, twelve years, twenty-five years, and forty years (never awarded). The Police Long Service Award was given in grades of eight, eighteen, twenty-five, and forty years (never awarded). The award of the German armed forces, known as the Wehrmacht Long Service Award, was issued for four years (fourth class), twelve years (third class), 18 years (second class), 25 years (first class), and 40 years (1939 special class).