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The Order of the Cross of Liberty
Order of the Cross of Liberty
(Finnish: Vapaudenristin ritarikunta; Swedish: Frihetskorsets orden) is one of three official orders in Finland, along with the Order of the White Rose
Order of the White Rose
of Finland and the Order of the Lion of Finland. The President of Finland
President of Finland
is the Grand Master of the two orders, and usually of the Order of the Cross of Liberty as well, Grand Mastership of which is attached to the position of Commander-in-chief.[1] In 1944, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (1867–1951) was designated as Grand Master for life.[2] The orders are administered by boards consisting of a chancellor, a vice-chancellor and at least four members. The orders of the White Rose of Finland
Finland
and the Lion of Finland
Finland
have a joint board. The Order of the Cross of Liberty
Order of the Cross of Liberty
was founded on March 4, 1918, upon the initiative of General C. G. E. Mannerheim. The Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela
Akseli Gallen-Kallela
was commissioned to design the Order's insignia with the swastika. At its foundation there were seven classes: grand cross, cross of liberty (1st to 4th class) and the medal of liberty (1st and 2nd class). The decorations of the Order of the Cross of Liberty
Order of the Cross of Liberty
were initially conferred only in time of war. A decree was issued on 18 August 1944 enabling the decorations to be awarded in peacetime. The Cross of Liberty has a red ribbon when it is granted in wartime and a yellow ribbon when it is awarded in peacetime. Decorations of the order were awarded in great numbers during the World War II, partly due to Marshal Mannerheim having issued an order that wounded soldiers were to be awarded for their sacrifice, and Finland
Finland
has no separate decoration for wounded. The Cross of Liberty is usually reserved for commissioned officers, with the Medal of Liberty being awarded for soldiers of junior rank and NCOs.

Contents

1 Classes 2 Notable recipients 3 Notes 4 References 5 External links

Classes[edit]

The Presidential Standard of Finland
Finland
has a Cross of Liberty, 3rd Class on its upper left corner

The classes of the Order of the Cross of Liberty, in descending order, with abbreviations are:

Grand Cross of the Order of the Cross of Liberty
Order of the Cross of Liberty
(VR SR) Cross of Liberty, 1st Class with a grand star (neck order) (VR 1. rtk) Cross of Liberty, 1st Class (neck order) (VR 1) Cross of Liberty, 2nd Class (VR 2) Cross of Liberty, 3rd Class (VR 3) Cross of Liberty, 4th Class (VR 4) Medal of Liberty, 1st Class (VM 1) Medal for Merit, 1st Class (VR Am 1) Medal of Liberty, 2nd Class (VM 2) Medal for Merit, 2nd Class (VR Am 2)

Associated with the Order is the Mannerheim Cross, which is discussed in a separate article. Other special decorations awarded during the Second World War include:

Medal of Liberty 1st Class on Rosette Ribbon (only awarded once, to Field Marshal Mannerheim)[3] Gold Medal of Merit; only awarded once, to General Waldemar Erfurth, 13 June 1944[4] Cross of Mourning (VR sururisti); given to the nearest relative of a soldier killed in action[5] Medal of Mourning (VM surumitali); given to the nearest relative of a person killed in non-military duty of war industry or national defence.[6]

VR 1st Class

VR 2nd Class

VR 3rd Class

VR 4th Class

VR Mourning Cross

Notable recipients[edit]

Arthur Zimmermann
Arthur Zimmermann
(1918) Rüdiger von der Goltz
Rüdiger von der Goltz
(1918) Einar Lundborg, Swedish aviator who participated in the Finnish Civil War (unspecified) Simo Häyhä, Finnish sniper with a confirmed body count of 505 during the Winter War
Winter War
(Cross of Liberty, 3rd and 4th class; Medal of Liberty, 1st and 2nd class) Jerzy Świrski, Polish Vice Admiral during World War II Erich Raeder, German naval leader during World War II
World War II
(Grand Cross of the Order of the Cross of Liberty) Walter Nowotny, Austrian-born German fighter ace during World War II (Cross of Liberty 1st Class) Jorma Sarvanto, foremost Finnish fighter ace of the Winter War
Winter War
(Cross of Liberty 2nd Class, with swords) Karl Maria Demelhuber, Waffen SS Obergruppenführer Prince Wolfgang of Hesse, former Crown Prince of Finland, served in the Continuation War
Continuation War
(Cross of Liberty, 3rd Class) Mauno Koivisto, former Prime Minister and ninth President of Finland; medal received while serving with Captain Lauri Törni
Lauri Törni
in the Battle of Ilomantsi with the Soviet Union John F. "Jack" Hasey, American volunteer of the Iroquois Ambulance Corps who participated in the Winter War
Winter War
(Cross of Liberty, 4th Class, with swords) Nikolaus von Falkenhorst, German General who served as one of the leaders of the Nazis in the Continuation War
Continuation War
(Cross of Liberty, 2nd Class) Kurt Kuhlmey, German Stuka pilot

Notes[edit]

^ http://www.vapaudenristinritarikunta.fi/pages/show/2 ^ http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/1944/19440550 ^ Tetri 1994, p. 47. ^ Tetri 1994, p. 47. ^ Tetri 1994, p. 49. ^ Tetri 1994, p. 49.

References[edit] Tetri, Juha E: Kunniamerkkikirja. Ajatus, 1994. ISBN 951-9440-23-2. (in Finnish) External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Order of the Cross of Liberty.

Pictures of decorations The Office of the President of the Republic of Finland
Finland
(Decorations) Finnish mi

.