JEWISH-AMERICAN HALL OF FAME • JEWISH MUSEUM IN CYBERSPACE
ANTI-SEMITIC BIGOTRY AS CHRONICLED BY HISTORICAL MEDALS


 
 
Figure 15. Jud Joseph Süs in Birdhouse ("Vogelhaus") Medal

Unknown medallist, Germany, 1738, white metal/pewter struck medal, 38 mm. Ref: Fieweger 392; Kirschner 15; Friedenberg 115 (Image courtesy of Alex Ben-Arieh)

Another medal issued to malign the role Jews played in finance is shown (figure 15). It was designed to celebrate the mistreatment of one particular Jew, Joseph Suskind Oppenheimer (1698 1738). Oppenheimer, called “the Jew Suess,” was a Jewish banker, financial planner and finance minister for Duke Karl Alexander of Wurtemberg. In the course of his career, Oppenheimer incurred many enemies, and when Karl Alexander died in 1737, Oppenheimer was charged, imprisoned and hanged. His body was subsequently thrown into a bird cage where it hung for six years.

The medal shows on the obverse a bust of Oppenheimer, labeled “Jew Joseph Suess Oppenheimer.” On the reverse is depicted the “Jew Suess” enclosed within a hanging birdcage suspended from gallows with birds flying around, the inscription reading, “From this Birdcage the Rascal Suess Looks Out.”

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