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


 


MEDALS RELATED TO THE EXPULSION OF JEWS

Some of the events associated with expelling Jews from countries were of such significance that they were commemorated in medals issued centuries after their expulsion. One such medal is that of Albert (Albrecht) III, which was engraved in the eighteenth century by the renowned medalist Franz Schega as part of a series of 17 portrait medals of Bavarian rulers (figure 28). These medals had images of the rulers on the obverse and a legend highlighting their major accomplishments on the reverse. As can be seen, although this medal was issued some three hundred years after the death of Albert III, Schega chose to feature on the reverse the fact that under Albert’s leadership the Jews (and pirates) were driven out of Bohemia, the legend reading, as translated: “Born in 1396, Overseer of the Public Peace, Once the Throne of Bohemia Was Overthrown and the Jews and Pirates Were Driven out under His Leadership. 1460". This expulsion occurred between 1432 and 1442, during which time, with the instigation of the clergy, Duke Albert III succeeded in having all the Jews of Upper and Lower Bavaria expelled.

The Jews continued to be excluded from Bavaria and Munich for almost three centuries thereafter. At that point, in the eighteenth century, during the Austrian occupation, the Jews were permitted to return only to be periodically persecuted and expelled again until more recently, during the Nazi period of the 1930s and 1940s, when most of these “terrestrial demons,” as the Nazis called them, were either expelled, forced into labor camps or systematically gathered up en masse and murdered. According to a detailed study by Daniel Goldhagen (1996), the general population in Germany and its occupied countries were willing participants in these atrocities and that “In their eyes, der Jude is not merely a heinous capital criminal. He is a terrestrial demon.” One might conclude that the demonical Jew espoused by Nazi Germany is not so unlike the demonical "Jude" depicted in the anti-Semitic medals shown here that were minted centuries earlier.

 Memomrial of the Ghetto Fire in Frankfurt Am Main Medal   Frankfurt Am Main Medal
Figure 28. Albert (Albrecht) III der Fromme, Duke of Bavaria Munich, Medal

Franz Andreas Schega, Germany, c.1766 1770, Silver struck medal, 39 mm. Ref: Forrer V, 377 no. 9; Weiss BW807 (Image: Collection of Benjamin Weiss)

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