Patriotic Order of Merit

The Patriotic Order of Merit (German: Vaterländischer Verdienstorden, or VVO) was a national award granted annually in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). It was founded in 1954 and was awarded to individuals and institutions for outstanding contributions to the state and society in various areas of life.

Patriotic Order of Merit
Vaterländischer Verdienstorden
GDR Patriotic Order of Merit all 3 classes.jpg
The 3 classes of the Patriotic Order of Merit
Awarded forSpecial services to the state and to society
Presented by East Germany
StatusNo longer awarded
Established21 May 1954
Last awarded1 May 1989
Next (higher)Karl Marx Order
Next (lower)Banner of Labour


  •   Honor clasp, in Gold
  •   Gold, 1st class
  •   Silver, 2nd class
  •   Bronze, 3rd class

The awardEdit

Party chief Walter Ulbricht awarding Karin Janz a silver Patriotic Order of Merit in 1968

The official language for the award stipulated it was given "for outstanding merit":

  • "in the struggle of the German and international labor movement and in the fight against fascism,"
  • "in the establishment, consolidation and fortification of the German Democratic Republic,"
  • "in the fight to secure peace and advance the international influence of the German Democratic Republic".[1]

The order was awarded in bronze, silver, gold and gold honor clasp (for exceptional merit).[1] Each level was only awarded once and with the exception of the recipient of the honor clasp, all recipients received a sum of money.

Notable recipientsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Auszeichnungen in der DDR Archived 2016-03-13 at the Wayback Machine Die DDR in WWW. Retrieved December 3, 2011 (in German)