Cross of Honour of the German Mother
The Cross of Honour of the German Mother (German: Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter), referred to colloquially as the Mutterehrenkreuz (Mother’s Cross of Honour) or simply Mutterkreuz (Mother’s Cross), was a state decoration conferred by the government of the German Reich to honour a Reichsdeutsche German mother for exceptional merit to the German nation. Eligibility later extended to include Volksdeutsche (ethnic German) mothers from, for example, Austria and Sudetenland, that had earlier been incorporated into the German Reich.
The decoration was conferred from 1939 until 1945 in three classes: bronze, silver, and gold, to Reichsdeutsche mothers who exhibited probity, exemplary motherhood, and who conceived and raised at least four or more children in the role of a parent. A similar practice, that continues to this present day, was already established in France since 1920, by conferring the Médaille de la Famille française (Medal of the French Family), a tribute to the French mother who raised several children in an appropriate way.
The Mother’s Cross was composed of three classes, and conferred to mothers in accordance with its statutory legislation:
- 1st class, Gold Cross: eligible mothers with eight or more children
- 2nd class, Silver Cross: eligible mothers with six or seven children
- 3rd class, Bronze Cross: eligible mothers with four or five children