Medals for Mothers

‘Family Medals’ are unusual yet interesting awards given to families for recognition of increasing populations. They have been issued by several countries, including France, the USSR, and Nazi Germany. The idea behind such medals was to recognize exemplary mothers, who bore and raised numerous children in a competent manner. On the pragmatic side of things, these medals were thought to encourage population growth. France’s Médaille de la Famille française (Medal of the French Family) can be awarded for raising several children well, and is still issued today. The USSR had the dramatically-named Order of Maternal Glory for any woman who’d had at least seven children. Nazi Germany’s Mutterehrenkreuz (Mother’s Cross of Honour) was issued an estimated 4.7 million times, to mothers of families with at least four children.

All three of these medals exist in three grades, 3rd through 1st Class, Bronze Silver and Gold, increasing in grade for the number of children. Such medals are not exceedingly difficult for collectors to find, and they are often inexpensive. A Mutterehrenkreuz 1st Class can sell for around $160 in good condition, and is an excellent oddity for a collection!