Panzer - To round off this brief look at some of the personalities who manned the Panzers, I've posted this carefully posed studio photo of Captain Karl Frölich who won the Ritterkreutz (the black cross at his throat) in 1943 as a lieutenant in Panzer Abteilung 18
This was what a WWII German war hero was supposed to look like, as opposed to the more laid back appearance of Kurt Knispel posted a few days ago.
The decoration with the large swastika on Frölich's breast does not indicate he was a member of the Nazi party, it is Das Deutsches Kreutz im Gold (The German Cross in Gold) Germany's second highest award for bravery.
When the Nazi party took control of Germany the symbol of the swastika was broadly incorporated into daily life and was seen on both the national flag, official awards, toys and tablecloths, even pastries.
After WWII, decorations with swastikas on them were forbidden to be worn in public, but in 1957 special new versions were made without the Nazi symbol which could be worn by war veterans who still wanted to display their awards, many of whom now served in the Bundeswehr of West Germany.
Playemate™ - Well, last day of Playemate Week™ in other words - the end...