Germany Torn Over Reviving Iron Cross

Controversy rages over 19th-century medal linked to Nazi regime
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 7, 2008 3:40 PM CST
German Minister of Defense, Franz Josef Jung, gestures during a press statement in Berlin, Friday, Feb.1, 2008. Jung has said he would like to establish a medal for "extroardinary bravery," the Independent...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – German officials are debating whether to bring back the Iron Cross, a military insignia closely associated with the Nazi era, the Independent reports. Some 5,000 Germans signed a petition last year calling for the reintroduction of the decoration for "outstanding bravery," which was eliminated in 1945. Others say it’s too mired in bad memories to be appropriate.

“The medal is too burdened by the past for it to be reintroduced,” said a leading politician. It has strong links to Hitler, who revived the decoration after decades of disuse. But another MP argues that despite the medal's ties to “terror and fear,” today it would be a “sign of help and solidarity” in places like Afghanistan.