Medal for the liberation from the fascist yoke
Medal for the liberation from the fascist yoke, RSR version
Medal for the liberation from the fascist yoke, RPR version
Case for the medal for the liberation from the fascist yoke, RPR version
The medal for the liberation from the fascist yoke was the first medal established by the Romanian communists in 1949, after they seized power (by Decree no. 309 from July 18, 1949). It was awarded to soldiers who fought on the Western Front in the Second World War and it can be considered a WW2 victory medal.

Romania had another medal for WW2 participants, the “Crusade against communism” medal, established in 1942 (and obviously awarded only to the participants in the Eastern Campaign, it was promptly banned by the communists afterwards). There were probably a number of soldiers that received both awards.

The front of the medal shows the busts of two soldiers, one Romanian and one Soviet, surrounded by the text “Eliberarea de sub jugul fascist” (Liberation from the fascist yoke). The reverse has the text “RPR In slujba poporului muncitor” (RPR Serving the working people) surrounded by a laurel wreath. The ribbon is red, with three white stripes.

In the 60’s, the new Romanian communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu started to award the medal again, in limited numbers, to veterans of both the Western and the Eastern Campaigns. The new issue of the medal is similar with the original one, except the fact that text on the reverse was replaced by “RSR In slujba poporului muncitor”. While the original medal is common, the RSR version is very rare.

Some examples of this medal were awarded in a case, while others came in a paper pouch.

A number of these medals were awarded to Soviet troops that fought alongside Romanian units in the Western Campaign, as well as to soldiers from other communist states.

Also, when the Soviet occupation troops were retreated from Romania in 1958, the medal was awarded to the whole personnel of these units (by Decree no. 810 from June 14, 1958). Through this decree, a total of 35,027 Soviets were decorated with the medal.

Author: Dragos Baldescu
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