TracesOfWar needs your help! Every euro, pound or dollar you contribute greatly supports the continuation of this website. Go to and donate!

Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse

At the beginning of the Second World War, the Iron Cross 2nd Class was still highly regarded. In later war years however it was rewarded with much more ease. Still most recipients would wear the award with the same amount of proud ness. The Iron Cross 2nd Class was the first grade within the Iron Cross that was to be obtained for an individual act of bravery.

The official criteria were the individual and single act of bravery in the face of the enemy or actions that were above and beyond the normal call of duty. The approximately three million awarded crosses were obtained by German Military, Axis military and civilian uniformed organisations.

The cross measures 44 mm in diameter and hangs from a ribbon in the colours black white and red. The wide red band in the middle is being flanked by two equal white bands that both again are being flanked by a black band. During the whole war the production was retained with a high quality. On the front side one can find a Swastika and the year 1939, while the obverse contains the year 1813 on the lower arm.

Almost all World War Two crosses were made out of three parts, the Iron core and a silver rim on the front and backside. The two silver rims were welded together, holding the iron core. The core was produced from iron and was blackened. This core made the Iron Cross to be magnetized. Some examples are not magnetized because they were produced with brass or cupper. This version was especially welcome with members of the Kriegmarine. This core lasted longer in the exposure of salty sea water. The rim was supposed to be made from silver, but more common was the use of “German Silver”, a less expensive alloy of cupper, zinc and nickel. At the top a ring was welded to hold the loop for the ribbon. On the loop one can often find the manufacturers name although it is not uncommon that no name is placed. Therefore the absence of the manufacturers name is not a criterion to classify the cross as original or not.

The Iron Cross could be received in two different ways. The most exclusive way was in a leather box. More common was the bleu coloured envelop with in gothic letters the words “Eisernes Kreuz 2.Klasse”. The presentation was accompanied with a standard document. The receiving was also to be written down in the recipients “Soldbuch”or “Wehrpass”. The document normally didn’t contain the reason for obtaining the Cross, although in some occasions it was written down on the backside of the document.

It was not usual to wear the decoration it self. In stead a ribbon was worn on the left breast of hanging from the second button hole of the tunic in the way of the former Prussian Army.

In 1957 a special version of the cross was produced. On this the Swastika was replaced with an oak leaf. The way military actions of the Second World War could be honoured without the use of the forbidden Nazi-symbols. Most veterans however choose to wear the decoration as a ribbon only. Most 1957 versions are of a lesser quality than wartime examples.

Springer, Heinrich Adolf Leopold* November 3rd, 1914
† October 27th, 2007

Bidermann, Gottlob-Herbert (Gren.Reg.437)* August 28th, 1920
† September 1st, 2010

Grid List
NameDate of birthDate of deathAwards
Zaag, Günther   
Zabel, Arthur (Flak-Regiment 4)18-01-1919  
Zabel, Gerhard (KG 53 'Legion Condor')   
Zabel, Walter ('U-9')25-01-1921  
Zabel, Wolf-Armin (6. Luft.-Felddivision)11-11-190431-07-1944 
Zach, Alfred (Grenadier-Bataillon z.b.V. 292)27-09-1918  
Zachariae, Claus   
Zachariae-Lingenthal, Edel Heinrich19-04-191630-03-1998more 
Zachau, Hermann   
Zahn, Dr.rer.oec., Eberhard-Detloff02-01-191007-02-2010more 
Zahn, Georg   
Zahn, Heinrich Bohle Gerhard18-09-1920  
Zahn, Hilmar06-09-191908-03-2008more 
Zahn, Lothar20-09-191110-02-1989 
Zahn, Alfred25-09-191104-04-1943 
Zahn, Willi15-12-191516-07-1943 
Zahrndt, Ernst16-12-1915  
Zajontz, Karl12-10-1921  
Zajusch, Karl   
Zakel, Johann01-03-1921  
Zander, Herbert02-05-1923  
Zander, Wilhelm Johannes Franz Friedrich "Willi"02-05-192324-01-1945 
Zandler, Johann16-11-1921  
Zanón Aldalur, Luis   
Zapf, Albert05-07-191828-01-1945 
Zapp, Helmuth   
Zapp, Robert-Richard03-04-190417-07-1964more 
Zarl, Rudolf (Rudi)16-09-192202-09-1943 
Zarschler, Artur   
Zastrow, Max12-10-192201-11-2014 
Zastrow, von, Hans-Viktor12-04-190710-12-1942 
Zatorski, von, Max05-03-192203-01-2004 
Zauner, Alois04-07-192311-10-1944 
Zauner, Franz04-09-191629-07-2008 
Zaunmüller, Rudolf   
Zeama, Dumitru   
Zebhauser, Paul09-06-191322-06-1992more 
Zebralla, Berthold   
Zecha, Franz   
Zecherle, Konrad16-02-191907-03-2009 
Zechnall, Martin   
Zeddelmann, von, Günther   
Zeggel, Kurt   
Zehender, August Friedrich28-04-190311-02-1945more 
Zehender, Siegfried   
Zehnder, Eugen02-03-191718-04-1991more 
Zeidler, Georg   
Zeiger, Erhard  more 
Zeiher, Robert01-11-191913-06-2000more 
Zeisler, Hubert   
Zeissler, Heinz15-12-1919 more 
Zeitz, Otto   
Zelinka, Rüdiger Rudolf (SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt.1)08-10-192124-12-1944 
Zeller, Herbert02-03-1915  
Zeller, Konrad (Grenadier-Regiment 380)09-09-191124-01-1996more 
Zeller, Otto   
Zeller, Otto   
Zeller, Willy12-11-191309-01-1997more 
Zeller, Ernst21-10-190812-08-1944 
Zellmann, Herbert (Stuka-Geschwader 1)11-02-191630-08-1943 
Zellner, Johann "Hans"19-06-191827-02-1945 
Zellner, Karl28-09-191813-09-1943 
Zellot, Walter06-10-192010-09-1942 
Zelsacher, Adolf30-05-192104-05-1943more 
Zemanek, Walter25-05-1918 more 
Zempel, Friedrich24-03-191327-07-1944 
Zemsky, Johann11-04-190928-08-1942 
Zenker, Franz05-08-191728-12-2001 
Zentis, Josef04-05-1922  
Zenz, Franz09-01-191408-09-1942 
Zepf, Gottfried28-08-191507-02-1981 
Zepner, Alois16-08-191414-11-1944 
Zepper, Erich27-11-191528-07-2005more 
Zerfas, Johann Peter06-01-191503-12-1943 
Zernin, Erich15-03-191613-08-1943 
Zeuke, Paul   
Zewe, Wilhelm29-03-192031-05-1944 
Zick, Alois24-12-191831-08-1943 
Zick, Siegfried25-12-1916  
Zickbauer, Josef (Aufklärungs-Abteilung 297)   
Zickfeld, Rudolf   
Zickler, Stefan   
Zickuhr, Werner   
Zickwolf, Berthold19-01-1922  
Ziebart, Wilhelm   
Ziebarth, Wilhelm13-06-1915 more 
Ziedainis, Miervaldis (Waffen-Gren.Reg. der SS 42)15-01-191516-07-1946 
Zieger, Gotthold   
Ziegler und Klipphausen, von, Heinz31-12-1903  
Ziegler, Herbert08-10-190425-06-1944 
Ziegler, Joachim19-10-190402-05-1945 
Ziegler, Ludwig   
Ziegler, Werner30-04-191615-04-2001more 
Ziegler, Arthur00-00-191700-00-1987 
Zieglmeier, Ottmar03-03-191318-08-1944 
Ziegs, Gert   
Zieher, Erich13-04-1913 more 
Ziehr, Leonhard08-03-191429-04-1989 
Zielke, Heinrich22-05-191629-03-1944 
Ziemer, Ernst09-12-191106-08-1986 
Zierdt, Walter   
Zierenberg, Bernhard20-10-192009-08-1943 
Zierhofer, Karl12-02-192401-04-1945 
Zierl, Mathias21-02-191318-08-1943 
Ziermann, Franz   
Zietlow, Helmut   
Zigenhorn, Karl   
Zilger, Erwin25-11-191229-07-1944 
Ziller, Erwin14-09-191518-02-1945 
Ziller, Freiherr von, Hans-Georg   
Zillich, Karl22-06-192114-04-1944 
Zillmann, Erich10-01-191209-08-1986 
Zilm, Franz-Rudolf   
Zils, Willi   
Zimmer, Adam   
Zimmer, Hans   
Zimmer, Herbert   
Zimmer, Karl (Grenadier-Regiment 105)09-04-191321-04-2002 
Zimmer, Kurt   
Zimmermann, Ernst18-03-191507-07-1943 
Zimmermann, Gerhard   
Zimmermann, Herbert (18. Armee)07-02-1909  
Zimmermann, Herbert (Grenadier-Regiment 225)01-06-191429-10-1944 
Zimmermann, Herbert (Panzer-Regiment 36)29-11-191716-12-1966 
Zimmermann, Herbert (Waffen-SS "Das Reich")31-05-191608-04-1945 
Zimmermann, Hermann   
Zimmermann, Jakob09-01-191208-10-1943 
Zimmermann, Josef (WH-Pi.Btl. 21)   
Zimmermann, Karl-Viktor   
Zimmermann, Manfred25-10-191804-07-1944 
Zimmermann, Oskar06-12-191712-06-1976 
Zimmermann, Otto   
Zimmermann, Paul   
Zimmermann, Rudolf (Kriegsmarine)   
Zimmermann, Rudolf (Schützen-Regiment 73)25-12-191625-01-1996more 
Zimmermann, Stephan 04-09-1943 
Zimmermann, Werner19-07-1913  
Zimmermann, Wilhelm   
Zimmermann, Willy21-03-192009-02-2002more 
Zimmermann, Wolfgang   
Zimmermann, Wolfgang (WH-Inf.Rgt. 276)   
Zimmermann, Fritz19-02-191607-06-1944 
Zimmermann, Jacob (WH-Gren.Rgt. 509)12-01-191216-01-1981 
Zimmermann, Otto27-03-191617-05-1989 
Zimmermann, Robert01-07-191716-04-1945 
Zimmermann, Walter25-02-191809-05-1999 
Zingel, August20-01-192222-12-2000more 
Zingel, Eberhard08-02-1919  
Zingelmann, Kurt   
Zingke, Gerhard   
Zinke, Karl   
Zinkhan, Fritz   
Zinn, Martin   
Zinn, Otto   
Zinner, Horst   
Zinnert, Helmut11-01-192004-03-1984 
Zinsser, Ludwig21-12-191402-03-2005 
Zinsstag, Georg   
Zintl, Franz-Xaver14-06-191423-03-1993 
Zipfel, Kuno23-10-191917-01-1945 
Zipfel, Willibald08-07-191902-02-1964 
Zirpel, Walter   
Zischka, Wilhelm14-10-190714-01-1945 
Zittier, Helmut24-07-191810-01-2004 
Zitzen, Kurt25-03-191624-08-1993more 
Zitzewitz, von, Friedrich-Karl   
Zizmann, Willy   
Zmugg, Alois05-08-190510-12-1975 
Zobel, Heinz20-06-1914 more 
Zobel, Horst06-05-191802-10-1999 
Zoglmann, Alois21-05-192029-04-1942 
Zoll, Erhard01-08-191417-07-2004more 
Zollenkopf, Martin28-10-192106-03-1945 
Zollhöfer, Emil (SS-Totenkopf-Infanterie-Reg.1)20-09-191120-08-1984more 
Zolling, Ernst   
Zoltan, Szentgyorgyi15-11-191016-09-1942 
Zondervan, Arie Johannes21-10-191000-00-1983 
Zopes, Johann05-03-191804-07-1942 
Zoppoth, Gerhard02-06-1923  
Zorell, Alois21-06-191411-12-2003 
Zorn, Eduard Emil Karl08-08-190104-02-1945more 
Zorn, Gerhard13-04-191107-04-1987 
Zorner, Paul Anton Guido31-03-192027-01-2014more 
Zschiegner, Werner   
Zschimmer, Kurt20-11-1920  
Zschoch, Volker   
Zubrod, Heinrich02-11-191827-01-1945 
Zugehör, Günter18-12-190901-07-1966 
Zumfelde, Hugo00-00-191400-00-2007 
Zundel, Fritz   
Zunker, Wilhelm   
Zurin, Alfred27-01-191913-04-1997more 
Zurmühlen, Bernhard23-02-190925-11-1943 
Zweigart, Eugen-Ludwig05-03-191408-06-1944 
Zweng, Wilhelm "Willi"26-11-191527-08-1944 
Zwernemann, Josef "Jupp"26-03-191608-04-1944more 
Zwesken, Rudolf "Rudi" "Bulle"13-08-191922-02-1946 
Zwick, Walter   
Zwickenpflug, Johann29-09-191407-06-1969 
Zwiener, Max   
Zwingmann, Fritz   
Zwipf, Heinrich13-01-191407-04-1944 
Zügner, Josef   
Zühlsdorff, Hermann06-09-191426-06-1944 
Zymalkowski, Felix13-08-191317-08-2004more 
Zynda, Günther   
Zürcher, Paul   
Zürn, Erich23-07-190609-08-1965more 
Zürner, Hermann08-12-190313-05-1972 
Zywietz, Willy   
Zäh, Friedrich03-03-191720-01-1945more 
Zährl, Hugo01-02-192416-07-1992more 
Zöfelt, Walter   
Zölk, Rudolf08-08-1914 more 
Zöller, Kurt   
Zöllner, Heinz07-11-191905-11-1944 
Zörn, Ernst Adolf Friedrich30-10-190707-10-1943more 
Zörner, Walter