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Bill und Fritz

Bill and Fritz

As collectors of military medals we all eventually will see some interesting picture postcards. When I look at my collection of post cards I start seeing some historic parallels with our times. For example below we have two pictures, Kaiser Wilhelm II whom I will call Bill and an unknown German soldier of the First World War whom I shall name Fritz.

Bill thought of himself as a great military leader and was bedecked with lots of glorious orders and medals which he earned for his great war time leadership while entrenched in his palaces and yachts; yes yachts, Bill was an Admiral too. After Bill had led his country to defeat and ruin he took his golden parachute and jumped across the border to a comfortable retirement in the Netherlands.

Fritz on the other hand survived four years in the trenches enduring untold hardships and misery. For his services Fritz was lucky if he got any medals at all, perhaps an Iron Cross II Class if he was really lucky. When Fritz came home he found his family sick and near death from starvation and disease. His economy was ruined, he had no job, no pension and no golden parachute.

Tell me do you see it too? Bill was the CEO of the bankrupt corporation German Empire Inc. Bill was also indicted but was safely beyond the reach of justice while Fritz, his former employee, was rewarded for his loyal and honorable service with a place of honor in the unemployment line. No golden parachute for Fritz, just a bleak future built with false promises.

As history repeats itself, only the names change.