Hanging Korn Jude (Inexpensive Time) Medal
Figure 5. Hanging Korn Jude (Inexpensive Time) Medal

Christian Wermuth, Germany, 1695, Silver struck medal, 34 mm. Ref: Friedenberg p. 5; Kirschner 25 (Image courtesy of Busso Peus Nacht.)

Over the years still more variants of the obverses and reverses of Du Korn Jude medals were struck, the particular devices and inscriptions dependent upon whether grain crops were plentiful or scarce. In years of famine, such as in 1694 and 1772, the reverse inscription implied that the Jews were hoarding grain. In other years, such as in 1695, when grain was plentiful, Korn Jude medals were modified in order to continue the calumny against the Jews even in times when there was an abundant harvest and grain was less expensive. In these cases, on the obverse, instead of “Famine Time” the medal was now stamped in German “Inexpensive Time.”

Figure 5 shows an example of one such medal struck in 1695. On the obverse is a scene showing in the background a rich cornfield and barn with a nesting stork on the roof. In the foreground is a Jew hanging from a fruit-laden tree, with the devil securing a rope around his neck. On the barn is inscribed LUC 12, referring to a chapter in Luke, Chapter 12, in which Jesus relates the Parable of the Rich Fool: ”There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods’...” In the exergue is inscribed: WO[H]LFEILEZEIT (Inexpensive Time) 1695. The reverse shows a grain sifter, with the inscription again that attacks covetousness, the exact same sentiment and iconography as on the medal issued in times of famine, shown in figure 2. In all cases, the medals of this type were inscribed on the obverse with the usual DU KORN IUDE (You Grain Jew).

Kirschner suggests that the meaning of the medal is that the Jew is wishing for a fruitful harvest but that the grain should still be expensive so he could make exorbitant profits.

2 1 3 3

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