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


 
Corn Jew Medal   Expensive Time Medal
Figure 4. Corn Jew / Expensive Time Medal

Johann Christian Reich, Germany, 1772, pewter (?) jeton, 29 mm. Ref: Brettauer 1908; Friedenberg 120; Kirschner 24, variant. (Image courtesy of Alex Ben-Arieh)

Reich produced more such medals or jetons (a jeton is a token or small, coin-like medal) with the same basic theme, one of which is shown in figure 4. As with others of this period, on this medal a Jewish grain peddler is seen, carrying on his back a sack spilling grain on the ground. On the sack sits a horned, goat-like devil. The peddler is walking toward the jaws of a toothed, alligator-like monster, representing hell. The legend reads in German, "KORNIUD VER ZWEIFEL UND GEH ZUM" (with the words disappearing into the mouth of a monster/hell). The meaning is interpreted as: "Grain Jew: Despair and Go to Hell." (Geh zum Teufel is a common German expression that amounts to "go to hell"). The word “Teufel” is not shown but is suggested by the image of the mouth of hell (in the form of a rebus) and its rhyme with Zweifel. (A rebus is an allusional device that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words). The exergue below reads THEUREZEIT 1772 (Expensive Time 1772). On the reverse is a horizontal grain sifter with an inscription translated as: “Fear God” and the same biblical saying as on the others of this type of medal.

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