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


 

A century later this event was still celebrated by the issuance of a medal commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Edict of Toleration by Joseph II (figure 42).

 Edict of Toleration Medal
Figure 42. One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Edict of Toleration Medal

Unknown medallist, Bronze struck medal, 1881, 30mm. The legend on the reverse refers to the 100th anniversary of the Edict proclaimed on 17 October 1781. (Image courtesy of William Rosenblum)

Still another medal, issued in 1808, celebrates the enfranchisement of the Jews of the Kingdom of Westphalia, a region in Germany known for the 1648 Peace of Westphalia which ended the Thirty Years' War. The obverse of this medal (figure 43) shows two winged genii embracing between religious symbols, one representing Christianity, the other Judaism, the legend reading “United in the Kingdom of Westphalia.” The reverse shows a kneeling Jewish woman in prayer before the Tablets of the Law which are leaning against a flaming alter; broken chains are seen at her feet. This medal refers to the then unusual granting of rights to the Jews of Westphalia by Jerome Bonaparte, proconsul for Napoleon Bonaparte. The native Germans revoked this edict when they regained power; only in France did the Napoleonic Code, insuring Jewish equality, remain in force.

 Edict of Toleration Medal
Figure 43. Granting Equality to Jews of Westphalia Medal

Abraham Abrahamson, Germany, Bronze struck medal, 1808, 43 mm. Ref: Friedenberg, p.41 (Image courtesy of Busso Peus Nacht.)

2 1 3 3

© 2000-2011 Jewish-American Hall of Fame © 2012-2015 American Numismatic Society All Rights Reserved by Benjamin Weiss