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


 



Almost 100 years later, between 1770 and 1772, there was another period of famine and high inflation in Germany, in which hundreds of thousands of people in Bohemia and Saxony starved to death. Again the Jews were blamed and corresponding medals were issued, those now produced largely by Johann Christian Reich. Like Wermuth, Reich also made several varieties of such KORNJUDE medals, often in base metals and no less virulently anti-Semitic than those of Wermuth. One of which, struck in 1772, is shown in figure 3. On the obverse we see a small figure of a housewife with raised arms imploring grain from a larger, heavy Jewish grain peddler. The peddler is carrying the obligatory sack of grain on which rides the figure of the devil, cutting a hole in the sack, causing grain to spill on the ground. The reverse shows the usual grain sifter with a legend from Proverbs XI.26. Though working about 80 years later, Reich produced medals with iconography similar to that produced by Wermuth, apparently appealing to the same audiences and customers.

Kornjudenmedaille   Grain Jew Medal of Woman and Grain Peddler
Figure 3. Kornjudenmedaille "Grain Jew" Medal of Woman and Grain Peddler

Johann Christian Reich, Germany, 1772, Struck Pewter(?) medal, 38 mm. Ref: Kirschner 28 (variant); Friedenberg 118; Brettauer 1905 (Image courtesy of Alex Ben-Arieh)

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