Veterans Meet for Exhibition Opening

The Tiger Collection Exhibition is Now Open!

7th April 2017

Two surviving German Tiger Tank veterans met their British counterparts at the opening of the Tiger Collection exhibition.

There were emotional scenes as the veterans – all in their nineties – met each other more than 70 years after the end of the Second World War.

Second World War VeteransThe veterans shook hands and embraced as they looked at the collection of tanks which once struck fear into the allies - and their reputation has endured.

The Tiger Tank Collection exhibition, supported by World of Tanks, includes Tiger 131, two King Tigers and a Jagdtiger, along with the Elefant, which is back in Europe for the first time since 1945 having been lent by the US Army Ordnance Training and Heritage Center.

Never have these tanks been together at the same time before – not even during the Second World War.

The two German Veterans whose stories are told, Wilhelm Fischer and Waldemar Pliska, met British veterans Ken Tout and Ernest Slarks who also feature in the exhibition.

Waldemar said: “I was grateful for the invitation and looked forward to meeting the other veterans.

“You have to remember that these tanks were killing machines. And it must never happen again; they must be a warning to others.”

Ernest said: “It is a strange feeling really, meeting each other – but also amazing. Time heals, of course, but we must never forget.

“While the Germans don’t speak much English we discovered that we have so much in common.”

David Willey, Curator of The Tank Museum, said: “Seeing the Tiger veterans and the British veterans meet was quite a moment.

“From speaking to them it’s clear that they shared so many experiences and they were looking forward to meeting.

“To bring them together at the exhibition was a wonderful way to bring attention to the stories of the tanks and the men who fought both in and against them.”