Association of
Knight's Cross Recipients



Purpose & Task

"The Knight's Cross"


German version

The Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) is an association of highly decorated front-line soldiers of both world wars. The association was founded in 1955 in Köln-Wahn. Generaloberst Alfred Keller, Knight of the Order "Pour le Merite" and Recipient of the Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross, called upon the recipients of the highest combat decorations for bravery to organize an association for tradition.. Later, the Recipients of the Prussian Golden Military Cross, of the "Pour le Merite" for enlisted personnel were included. The memorandum of the AKCR incoperates the awarding of 7318 Knight's Crosses, as well as 882 Oakleaves, 159 Swords, 27 Brilliants, 1 Golden Oakleaves and 1 Grandcross to the Iron Cross for all ranks in three Wehrmachts-parts and the Waffen-SS. The high decorations were specifically awarded for facing the enemy with exceptional bravery and troop leadership. This equates to 0.4% awards of approximately 18 million members of the Wehrmacht.

Almost half of the decorated recpients of the Second World War were either killed in action, declared missing in action, or died during the war.

The organization of Knight's Cross recipients into an association provides a link into the honor of the German soldier whose unbreakable virtues of duty, sacrifice, and comradery were guaranteed.

The soldiers are closely bound to the Bundeswehr. Since the AKCR was founded in 1956, seven-hundred and eleven recipients of the Knight's Cross, many of the highest ranks (117 generals and admirals), served in the Bundeswehr. Following the reunifiction of Germany, many new members have emerged from the new states of the Federation and some members reside abroad.

The AKCR stands on the foundation of democracy and anticipates its protection and truth for tradition. Today there are less than 500 recipients, approximately 230 survivor members, 110 surviving members with full membership and many associate members. Bylaws and statutes are determined in the nature of the organization and its communal usefullness has been established and recognized. Within the "Ring of German Soldiers' Associations" (approximately.400,000 members), the DAKC is a recognized union for camradery. The "Knight's Cross Relief Agency" supports the needy, ie. members of late comrades. The amount of funds that have been donated are close to 1 million German Marks. Our newletter, "The Knight's Cross" is read throughout 20 countries.

The Board of Directors.

© 2004 Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR).
Copyright © 2004.