(Tapferkeits- und Verdienst-Ausziechnung für Angehörige der Ostvölker)

Date Instituted



It was awarded for bravery (with swords) or merit (without swords) to citizens of the USSR fighting with the Germans.

It was awarded in these classes:
First class in gold

First class in silver

Second class in gold

Second class in silver

Second class in bronze

Number Awarded


Hauptmann Siegfried Keiling wearing the 1st and 2nd Class Ostvolk Medal
(Courtesy of Dave)

Ivan Kononov, commander of Don-Kosaken-Reiter-Regiment 5
(Courtesy of Peder)


The second class was worn only as a ribbon and the first class was worn on the lower left breast, i.e. as how the Iron Cross was worn.

The Ostvolk Medal could also be awarded to Germans serving with units manned by volunteers from the USSR, one of the recipients were Siegfried Keiling, commander of Ost-Artillerie-Abteilung 621, who received both the first and second class of the Ostvolk Medal as well as the Knight's Cross. When asked about the abilities of the soldiers under his command he answered "This Knight's Cross is the best answer to the question of their ability". (1)

It was designed by Elmar Lang.

Photo courtesy of Rusfront


1. "For Führer and Fatherland: Military awards of the Third Reich" by John R. Angolia, page 411.

Sources used

Christopher Ailsby - World War 2 German Medals and Political Awards
John R. Angolia - For Führer and Fatherland: Military awards of the Third Reich
David Littlejohn & C.M. Dodkins - Orders, Decorations and Badges of the Third Reich