Ruhla and the National Honours of the GDR
Following the creation of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in October 1949, the new republic developed its own system of honours to reward its citizens for the advancement of the socialist state. These honours largely mirrored those awarded in the Soviet Union along with some awards which were more unique to Germany.
During the duration of the GDR from 1949 to 1990, some staff and work combines (groups of workers collaborating on the same project) of the Ruhla Watch and Machine Factory accomplished achievements which were honoured by the GDR national honours system. The two main honours received were Hero of Labour and Banner of Labour. These honours were announced in the national press of the GDR each October with lists of recipients.
The Hero of Labour award was established on 19 April 1950 and the Banner of Labour on 4th August 1954. The Banner of Labour originally was a single class award. In August 1974, it was divided into three classes. For each class a cash award was also made to the recipient. Both honours were last awarded in 1989.
During the time of the GDR, a number of workers and combines (work groups) of the Ruhla Watch and Machine Factory were awarded the Hero of Labour and Banner of Labour Medals.