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German Iron Cross 1st & 2nd Class Maker Marks (EK1 & EK2) - MilitariaToday

German Iron Cross 1st & 2nd Class Maker Marks (EK1 & EK2)

A basic guide to Iron Cross 1st & 2nd Classes (Ek1 & Ek2) and makers number list.

The Iron Cross is about as iconic and collectable as items come. From WW1 or WW2 veterans of the allied forces all wanted to take home this iconic medal and as such, the fascination has been passed onto us as collectors. Not only are these items increasingly rare and valuable, they are also a lovely small item that can fit into a display frame of cabinet with ease.

On this page we will cover the basics of both WW1 and WW2 Iron Cross medals (Eiserne Kreuz or EK) in both 1st and 2nd class variations. Plus then we have a master list of the currently known manufacturer marks from all variations of the medals. This list can become very handy. Firstly, because it is simply interesting to know where an item was manufactured and secondly, because it can dictate the value of the medal. Some makers only made a hand full of Iron Crosses, so in the modern collecting world, they can command a premium.

Word of warning before we begin!

When I was a teenager a well renowned dealer said to me “Around 5 million Iron crosses were manufactured during WW2, and only 20 million of them are still around today!” This of course makes no sense, but the meaning behind it does. Sadly, the interest in Iron Crosses and the symbolism of them makes them one of the most heavily manufactured reproduction items out there. Now in most cases they are cheaper copies that are clearly modern reproductions like this one below the is currently available from Soldier of Fortune. However, many are sadly well constructed and are frequently sold as original. (It is worth noting that some people are not aiming to deceive they just don’t know)

Reproduction Iron Cross 1st class
Reproduction Iron Cross 1st Class – Credit: Soldier of Fortune

As such, it is always worth either speaking to someone who knows more on the subject, take advice or at the least, buy from a trusted source. Most reputable traders will happily take an item back if you aren’t happy with it. Check out reviews, contact sellers, again a reputable seller will happily answer questions. And finally, especially if you aren’t sure about the seller, pay on a credit card of via PayPal goods and services (This is often built into sellers website). Reserve Paypal friends and family for those you personally trust explicitly.

The WW1 Iron Cross 1st Class EK1

The Iron Cross was awarded for bravery in combat or other military contributions in the battlefield environment. To receive an Iron Cross 1st class, a soldier would have to repeat this feat multiple times. The 1st class EK1 was awarded around 163,000 times during WW1 and would have been worn on the breast of the awardees uniform. Originally it would have been awarded in a box however most we see these days are missing the box. Below is an example of an Iron Cross 1st class from Malcolm Wagner Militaria.

WW1 Iron Cross 1st class
WW1 Iron Cross 1st class – Credit: Malcolm Wagner Militaria
Iron Cross 1st class Pin
Iron Cross 1st class rear pin – Credit: Malcolm Wagner Militaria

The WW1 Iron Cross 2nd Class Ek2

The second class Iron Cross was awarded far more frequently. With only one act of bravery in the battlefield environment needed, during WW1 they were handed out in huge numbers. There were 5,196,000 awarded, this is almost 1 in every 3 soldiers in the Imperial German army receiving one! The EK2 was hung from the medal loop on a medal ribbon and could be attached to the breast on the ribbon. Here is an example from The Militaria Shop.

WW1 German iron cross 2nd class
WW1 German Iron Cross 2nd Class – Credit: The Militaria Shop
Rear of WW1 German Iron Cross 2nd Class – Credit: The Militaria Shop

The WW2 Iron Cross 1st & 2nd Classes (EK1 & EK2)

Much like the WW1 Iron Cross, the WW2 crosses were handed out for the same reasons and in similar numbers. However, the main changes were the date on the front and the ribbon colour plus of course the swastika being added. In terms of production, it was fairly similar. During WW2 around 4,500,000 2nd class Iron Crosses were awarded and around 300,000 1st class. Overall though, the medal didn’t change too much between the two wars. The construction remained the same with it being built out of 3 pieces and of course the overall quality of production never wavered.

Here are examples of the 1st and 2nd class medals. Photo credit goes to Rocksteady Militaria, IMCS Militaria & Antiquities of the Reich.

Iron Cross 1st Class ww2
Boxed WW2 EK1 Iron Cross 1st Class – Credit: IMCS Militaria
Iron Cross 1st Class ww2
Rear of WW2 EK1 Iron Cross – Credit: Antiquities of the Reich
WW2 German Iron cross ek2
Ek2 WW2 German Iron Cross Medal – Credit: Rocksteady Militaria

Iron Cross Makers Marks

Not all Iron Crosses are makers marked. It is worth pointing this out as I have known people suggest any unmarked cross is a copy. This is not true. Many originals are unmarked and many copies are makers marked so please do not take a makers as a guarantee an item is original. Below you will find a few makers lists of different medals from both wars. As collectors and historians we are always learning more from original documents and research so please be aware there are a few unknowns on the lists. If you have anymore information, please feel free to get in touch.

WW1 Iron Cross 1st Class – EK1 Makers Mark

Marking Maker Name Factory Location
A Assmann Lüdenscheid
AWS A. Werner & Sohne (See Manufacturer’s Marks) Berlin
CD 800 Carl Dillenius Pforzheim
Deschler & Sohn Deschler & Sohn Abzeichenfabrik München
DEUTSCHER OFFIZIERSVEREIN Deutscher Offiziersverein Unknown
D.R.G.M. 653146 Paul Meybauer Berlin
Fr Friedländer Berlin
FR Friedländer (?) Berlin (?)
FR. SEDLATZEK BLN S.W. 68 Friedrich Sedlatzek Berlin
G Godet & Sohn Berlin
GD Godet & Sohn Berlin
GODET- BERLIN Godet & Sohn Berlin
M. HANSEN D.R.G.M. 650006 M. Hansen Unknown
H.B.G. Unknown Unknown
J C. E. Junker Berlin
J.H. WERNER BERLIN J.H. Werner Berlin
JWS Johann Wagner & Sohn Berlin
K.A.G. Unknown Unknown
K.M.S.T. (also seen as) K.M.S.t Königliche Muenzamt Stuttgart Stuttgart
KO Königliches Münzamt Orden Berlin
N Neuhaus & Sohn Unknown
S-W Sy-Wagner Berlin
V (possibly a “Y”?) Unknown Unknown
Y Unknown Unknown
W Wagner Berlin
we Unknown Unknown
Wilm Wilm Berlin
WS Wagner & Sohn Berlin
W & S Wagner & Sohn Berlin

WW1 Iron Cross 2nd Class – EK2 Makers Marks

Marking Maker Name Factory Location
+ Unknown Unknown
A Assmann Lüdenscheid
AP Unknown Unknown
AWS A. Werner & Sohne (See Manufacturer’s Marks) Berlin
B Unknown Unknown
BD Unknown Unknown
BD 800 Unknown Unknown
C Unknown Unknown
CD Unknown. Could be Carl Dillenius below? Unknown
CD 800 Carl Dillenius Pforzheim
CR Unknown Unknown
D Unknown Unknown
E Unknown Unknown
ED Unknown Unknown
EW Unknown Unknown
F Unknown Unknown
D.R.G.M. 653146 Paul Meybauer Berlin
FO Friedrich Orth (?) Wien
Fr Friedländer Berlin
FR Frank & Reif Stuttgart
FW Franz Xaver Wimmer München
G Godet & Sohn Berlin
GD Godet & Sohn Berlin
H Paul Hossauer Berlin
HB Unknown Unknown
HB .800 Unknown Unknown
HBG Unknown Unknown
H.B.O. Unknown Unknown
I Unknown Unknown
IVI Unknown Unknown
IW Iohann Wagner & Sohn (?) Berlin
J C. E. Junker Berlin
JWS Johann Wagner & Sohn Berlin
K Unknown Unknown
K 800 Unknown Unknown
K 5 Unknown Unknown
K.A.G. Unknown Unknown
KAW Unknown Unknown
KC Unknown Unknown
KD Unknown Unknown
KM Königliche Muenzamt Stuttgart Stuttgart
KM .800 Königliche Muenzamt Stuttgart Stuttgart
KO Königliches Münzamt Orden Berlin
KO 800 Königliches Münzamt Orden Berlin
KP Unknown Unknown
L Unknown Unknown
LM Unknown Unknown
LV Unknown Unknown
LV 26 Unknown Unknown
LV 11 Unknown Unknown
LW Unknown Unknown
M Unknown Unknown
M+ Unknown Unknown
+M+ Unknown Unknown
+M+O Unknown Unknown
MEH Unknown Unknown
MFH Unknown Unknown
MM Unknown Unknown
N Neun Rösner, Sachsen
O Unknown Unknown
OSM Unknown Unknown
P Unknown Unknown
PH Paul Hossauer Berlin
Pr Unknown Unknown
PS Unknown Unknown
PS 800 Unknown Unknown
R Alfred Rösner Dresden
R.SCH. Unknown Unknown
RW Unknown Unknown
S Heinrich Schneider (?), Schwartz (?), or Sedlazek (?) Dresden (Schneider)
S-W Sy-Wagner Berlin
S-W 950 Sy-Wagner Berlin
T Unknown Unknown
U Unknown Unknown
V Unknown Unknown
W Wagner Berlin
Wa Wagner (?) Berlin
we Unknown Unknown
Wien Unknown Unknown
Wilm H.R. Wilm Berlin
Wilm 800 H.R. Wilm Berlin
WMS Unknown Unknown
WS Walter Schott Berlin
W & S Wagner & Sohn Berlin
Wu-S Wagner & Sohn (?) Berlin
Y Unknown Unknown
Z Possibly “Zeich” Berlin
ZS Unknown Unknown

 

WW2 Iron Cross 1st Class – EK1 Makers Marks

Marking Maker Name Factory Location
1 Deschler & Sohn Munchen
2 C.E. Juncker Berlin
3 Wilhelm Deumer Lüdensched
4 Steinhauer & Lück Lüdensched
6 Fritz Zimmermann Stuttgart
7 Paul Meyhauer Berlin
8 Ferdinand Hoffstadter Unknown
11 Grossmann & Co. Wien
15 Friedrich Orth Wien
20 C.F. Zimmermann Pforzheim
25 Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Graveur-Gold-und Silberschemiede-Innungen Unknown
26 B. H. Mayer’s Kunst-prageanstalt Pforzheim
52 Gottlieb & Wagner Ldar/Oberstein
65 Klein & Quenzer A.G. Idar/Oberstein
100 Rudolf Wachtler & Lange Mittweida
107 Carl Wild Hamburg
 
L/10 Deschler & Sohn Munchen 9 Wirthstrasse 9
L/11 Wilhelm Deumer Lüdensched, Postfach 161
L/12 C.E. Junker Berlin SW 68, Alte Jakobstr. 13
L/13 Paul Meybauer Berlin SW 68, Alte Jakobstr. 13
L/15 Otto Schickle Pforzheim
L/16 Steinhauer & Lück Lüdensched
L/18 D.H. Mayer’s, Hofkunstprageanstalt Pforzheim
L/19 Ferkinand Hoffstatter Bonn/Rhein Postfach 161
L/50 Gebr. Godet & Co. Berlin W8 Jagerstr. 19
L/52 C.F. Zimmermann Pforzheim
L/53 Hymmen & Co. Lüdensched Karlstr.
L/54 Schauerte & Hohfeld Lüdensched
L/55 Wachtler & Lange Rudolf Mittwaida/Sa.
L/56 Funcke & Bruninghaus Unknown
L/57 Boerger & Co. Berlin SO 16 Adalbertstr. 42
L/58 Rudolf Souval Unknown
L/59 Alois Rettenmaier Schwabisch-Gmund Parlerstr. 27

 

WW2 Iron Cross 2nd Class – EK2 Makers Marks

Marking Maker Name Factory Location
1 Deschler & Sohn München
2 C.E. Juncker Berlin
3 Wilhelm Deumer Lüdenscheld
4 Steinhauer & Lück Lüdenscheld
5 Hermann Wernstein Jena-Lobstedt
6 Fritz Zimmermann Stuttgart
7 Paul Meybauer Berlin
8 Ferdinand Hoffstädter Bonn
11 Grossmann & Co. Wien
12 Frank & Reif Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen
13 Gustav Brehmer Markneukirchen/Sa
16 Alois Rettenmaler Schwäblsch-Gmund
15 Friedrich Orth Wien
19 E. Ferd Weidmann Frankfurt/Main
20 C.F. Zimmermann Pforzheim
21 Gebr. Godet & Co. Berlin
22 Boerger & Co. Berlin
23 Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Heereshedarf in der Graveur-ubd Ziselierung Berlin
24 Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Hanauer Plakettenhersteller Hanau
25 Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Graveur-Gold-und Silverschmeide-Innungen Hanau
26 B. H. Mayers Kunstprägesanstalt Pforzheim
27 Anton Schenkls Nachfolger Wien
33 Friedrich Linden Lüdensched
35 F.W. Assmann und Söhne Lüdensched
40 Berg & Nolte Lüdensched
41 Gebrüder Bender Oberstein/Nahe
42 Biedermann & Co. Oberkassel bei Bonn
44 Jakob Bengel Idar/Oberdonau
49 Josef Feix Söhne Gablonz a.d.Neckar
52 Gottlieb & Wagner Idar Oberstein
55 J.E. Hammer & Söhne Geringswalde
56 Robert Hauschild Pforzheim
65 Klein & Quenzer A.G. Idar Oberstein
66 Freidrich Keller Oberstein
70 Lind & Meyrer Unknown
75 (Unknown) Unknown
76 Ernst L. Müller Pforzheim
80 G.H. Osang Dresden
93 Richard Simm & Söhne Gablonz a.d.Neckar
94 Adolf Scholze Grünwald a.d.Neckar
96 Unknown Unknown
97 Unknown Unknown
98 Rudolf Souval Wien
100 Rudolf Wächtler & Lange Mittweida
103 Aug. G. Tam Gablonz a.d. Neckar
104 Hein. Ulbricht’s Ww. Kaufing bei Schwanenstadt
106 Brüder Schneider A.G. Wien
108 Arno Wallpach Salzburg
109 Walter & Hentein Gablonz
113 Hermann Aurich Dresden
120 Franz Petzl Wien
122 JJ. Stahl Strassburg
123 Beck, Hassinger & Co. Strassburg
125 Eugen Gauss Pforzheim
128 S. Jablonski Gmb H Posen
132 Franz Reischauer Oberstein
137 J.H. Werner Berlin
138 Julius Maurer Oberstein
139 Hymmen & Co. Ludenscheid
 
L/11 Wilhelm Deumer Lüdensched, Postfach 161
L/12 C. E. Juncker Berlin SW 68, Alte Jakobstr. 13
L/14 Friedrich Orth Wien