From this article in The Telegraph:

In a move designed to remove an embarrassing link to Germany's past Dulmen town council voted to revoke the honour its predecessor once bestowed upon Hitler.

It becomes the latest German town to erase an unwanted memory, with historians estimating that more than 4,000 German towns and cities once granted the Nazi leader honorary citizenship.

I'm curious to know if any official honours (not restricted only to citizenships), awards, or decorations were granted to Hitler outside Germany.

  • 2
    An interesting bit of trivia is that Henry Ford and Adolf Hitler had a pretty close relationship.
    – Daniel
    Nov 28, 2012 at 21:21
  • @Hypoxide I think this needs some further evidence. Could you please identify any?
    – Drux
    Mar 21, 2013 at 11:58
  • 1
    @Drux en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_ford#Controversy
    – Daniel
    Mar 21, 2013 at 13:19
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    @Hypoxide So Henry Ford apparently was anti-semitic, and Hitler expressed some admiration and sent funds seekers to the man. But how does that amount to a "pretty close relationship" between Ford and Hitler: did they ever meet or have e.g. letters survived? IMO it does not really amount to that, although also Ford now seem somewhat tainted by his views and this undesirable acquaintance.
    – Drux
    Mar 21, 2013 at 14:15
  • 1
    The Daily Mail thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. And the Duke of Windsor had a soft spot for him too.
    – WS2
    Nov 3, 2018 at 13:06

5 Answers 5


Hitler was awarded honorary citizenship in a few Austrian cities. Amstetten revoked Hitler's honorary citizenship in May 2011 and Braunau, which includes Ranshofen, Hitler's birthplace, followed in July 2011. Klagenfurt's mayor, Christian Scheider, removed Hitler from the city's roll of honour without waiting for verification that the city had ever honoured him:

If it should emerge that Adolf Hitler ever received an honorary citizenship of the provincial capital Klagenfurt from anyone - a supposition which lies before us - this is officially revoked and disallowed

Lastly, Hitler was Time Magazine's Person of the Year (then Man of the Year) in 1938, a choice solely based on his influence on the events of the year and not really an honour or an indication of approval of his activities.


  • Thanks Yannis. I'd forgotten about the Time magazine cover. Just to clarify, I'm interested in anything officially complimentary towards this monorchid :) Nov 28, 2012 at 13:49
  • @coleopterist One thing you should probably clarify in your question is if you are looking for honours bestowed upon Hitler during his lifetime, because unfortunately there probably are quite a few neo-nazi groups that have (and continue to do so) honoured Hitler long after his death.
    – yannis
    Nov 28, 2012 at 13:53
  • Good point. Rather than explicitly stating as you suggest, I've added a rider that that award needs to be "official". Nov 28, 2012 at 13:56
  • Time magazine repeatedly tries to explain (to mostly deaf ears) that the only honor in receiving their "Man of the Year" is that it means you were a big driver of events that year. I does not mean Time approves of you.
    – T.E.D.
    Nov 28, 2012 at 19:59
  • @T.E.D. I'd hope that would be obvious to everyone, but changed the wording anyway.
    – yannis
    Nov 28, 2012 at 20:22

One of the rather notable things sbout Hitler was that -unlike, for example; Goering; who seemed to have made it his lifetime ambition to amass every possible order, decoration and medal-whether German or foreign-Hitler deliberately cultivated an image of modesty-this extended to his uniforms, which lacked rank insignia-and thus he stood out from his Field-Marshals and other higher ranking officers-who would have been positively dripping in bling (Goering especially!)

Hitler wore three decorations: Iron Cross (1st Class), Wound Badge (3rd Class), and Party Badge (wreathed in gold). This was even though he was entitled to several more (a couple of Bavarian military merit crosses, as well as the Iron Cross second class)

These three decorations are easier to focus upon than Göring's many, thus they become more significant. In short they say, "Germany recognised me for courageous service," "I was wounded in Germany's service," and "I was one of the first (100,000) members of the movement." 

In line with all this, Hitler made a point of (politely and diplomatically) refusing orders and medals that were offered to him on state visits (as is usually the case when a visiting head of state visits another country) to allied axis states and indeed neutral ones.

There is one exception, however. On one of his state visits to Italy Mussolini granted him the rank of 'First Honorary Corporal' in his blackshirts militia-and wore the rank insignia and ceremonial dagger associated with this rank. Unusual for Hitler-but given the esteem he Mussolini, particularly as an 'inspiration', not surprising.

  • Good answer, sources would be appreciated however. Dec 21, 2016 at 2:33
  • Actually...in addendum to this, it seems Hitler did accept (or at least was awarded) one foreign honour: the Collar of the Imperial Order of the Yoke and Arrows, the highest rank of fascist Spain's highest order, along with Mussolini and King Victor Emmanuel III(though he probably never wore it), as can be seen here: es.m.wikisource.org/wiki/Condec ... olf_Hitler Oct 2, 2019 at 15:30

First, he is still some honoured citizen (HC) in some cities. Here is a Polish news he is still HC in Szczecin (Stettin), there is nothing to do with this, because law does not specify how to take his HCship back. But Szczecin was of course German city, like Wrocław (Breslau) or Olsztyn (Allenstein).

If Free City of Danzig can be considered as "outside Germany", he was a HC of this state (Polish Wikipedia).

One interesting note is that (again citing Wikipedia)

Technically, Hitler was awarded the Olympic Games Decoration for serving as host to the 1936 Olympics, but never displayed or even acknowledged having received this award.

I think he could have been given also his Allies' decorations, like Italy, Japan, Rumania, Finland, Hungary. Perhaps it was also possible to get in pre-war times from the countries he would later invaded.

This is an example of naming a street in Rome Via Adolf Hitler (date is 1938).

  • Does not honorary citizen status end with the death?
    – Anixx
    Oct 8, 2016 at 23:00

I was reading something about Naomi Jacobs - she was a popular English writer - and this came up:

In 1935 Jacob was awarded the Eichelberger International Humane Award, for her novel Honour Come Back. Initially delighted, she was moved to reject the award on discovering another recipient was Adolf Hitler. In a letter to a newspaper at the time, she wrote: “…it was impossible for me to accept an award which was given to me and to Herr Hitler, because of the terrible persecution, the monstrous injustices and the abominable cruelties which are even now being laid upon the Jewish race in Germany. To have accepted it would have been to almost betray those people to whose race I partly belong, and who have been my good and loyal friends all my life…”

However, I'm unable to discover anything about the award - intriguing though... John Harding, Sydney

  • Interesting. This award was also given to George Bernard Shaw and the actor George Arliss. Very strange that Hitler should be in that company. Please note, though, to avoid plagiarism, you need indicate quotation for all that is not originally yours, and to add the source. Dec 26, 2020 at 5:34

There were Adolf Hitler square in Lvov, Adolf Hitler avenues in Dnepropetrovsk and Kiev (now Ukraine) and Adolf Hitler street in Riga (now Latvia). But all under German occupation.

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    Sorry, undervote. Since these were occupied lands, they were effectively German, while the question specified "ouside Germany". Mar 21, 2013 at 5:42
  • @FelixGoldberg same arguably applies to Yannis Rizos' answer (see my comment there). Perhaps honors from Vichy France should count: such could certainly exist given the pressures of the time (perhaps even honors from Switzerland too.)
    – Drux
    Mar 21, 2013 at 7:53
  • @Felix Goldberg technically my answer is valid: the Ukraine and the Baltic were not annexed to Germany unlike Austria.
    – Anixx
    Mar 21, 2013 at 12:34
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    But that it is a distinction entirely without difference. They didn't even have puppet governments like some other occupied countries had - they were ruled by German officials. Mar 21, 2013 at 13:47
  • Now Japan certainly was "outside" Nazi Germany, and maybe they awarded some honors in return.
    – Drux
    Mar 21, 2013 at 14:26

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