Social Welfare Decoration

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The Social Welfare Decoration (Ehrenzeichen für deutsche Volkspflege) was a German Civil Service Award which was issued in the 1930s and the 1940s under the authority of Nazi Germany. The decoration was issued in three classes and was awarded for a wide variety of services to the German state. A "Medal of Social Welfare" was also issued for lesser degrees of civil service, not warranting the higher presentation of a class award.

The main requirement for the award was that the service rendered should be to the benefit of the civil population. Reinhard Heydrich was awarded the decoration for his running of the Gestapo in the 1930s and for providing "security" to the German people. The infamous Doctor Joseph Mengele was also awarded the decoration in 1941, for providing medical services to wounded soldiers and civilians alike on the battlefields of the Eastern Front.