|The Return of Memel Commemorative Medal
Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an die Heimkehr des Memellandes 22. März 1939
The medal's obverse (left) and reverse (right).
|Awarded by Nazi Germany|
|Eligibility||Military personnel, others|
|Awarded for||Awarded to all German military personnel and other officials who participated and contributed to the annexation of the Klaipėda Region (Memel Territory)|
|Campaign(s)||1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania|
|Established||1 May 1939|
|First awarded||1 May 1939|
|Last awarded||31 December 1940|
Ribbon bar of the medal
The Return of Memel Commemorative Medal (Medaille zur Erinnerung an die Heimkehr des Memellandes; 22. März 1939) was a decoration of Nazi Germany awarded in the interwar period, and the last of the series of Occupation Medals.
Germany annexed the Klaipėda Region (Memel Territory) from Lithuania on 22 March 1939 after an oral ultimatum. On 23 March a occupation of the city and district was carried out by German Army troops. This area of East Prussia, with 160,000 inhabitants, had been turned over to Lithuania in the aftermath of World War I. To commemorate the occupation the "Memel Medal" was authorized on 1 May 1939. It was awarded until 31 December 1940. In all 31,322 medals were awarded.
The medal was designed by Professor Richard Klein. While the obverse was the exactly the same as the previous two medals, the reverse read "Zur Erinnerung an die Heimkerhr des Memellandes 22. März 1939" (To commemorate the return of the Memel District. 22 March 1939), surrounded by an oak leave wreath. The award was presented to all military, political and civil personnel who had distinguished themselves in actions related to the annexation of the district to Germany.
The medal was die struck in bronze and worn on the left tunic pocket suspended from a white ribbon with a green strip in the middle and two red strips on each side, the historic colors of Lithuania Minor.