100877 | GERMANY & FRANCE. "Black Shame" silvered bronze Medal.

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    100877 | GERMANY & FRANCE. "Black Shame" silvered bronze Medal. Issued 1922. On the supposed sexual crimes of German women by French-African soldiers (38mm, 19.94 g, 12h). By W. Friesen for Lauer in Nürnberg.

     

    SCHWARZE SCHMACH UND KULTURSCHANDE AM RHEIN (black shame and cultural disgrace on the Rhine), French-African soldier, with overt, caricatured ethnic features, with rifle and bayonet and holding down a protesting nude woman (representing German women) by her hair / DEUTSCHER / NOTUND SCHMACH / TALER in three lines (German Emergency Shame Taler), broken sword. Edge: Plain.

     

    Gem Mint State. Exceedingly prooflike surfaces, with a vibrant palette throughout. A very interesting and racially-charged piece evoking the German right-wing sentiments of the time.

     

    Following Germany's defeat in World War I, French and British troops occupied portions of Germany to ensure that reparations would be repaid. In some areas such as the Rhineland, France utilized colonial troops from North Africa for patrolling and occupying—possibly serving as an act of further humiliation—making the local Germans be subject to those who were, in turn, subject to a colonial power. Within Germany, however, sentiments became overtly racialized, with anti-African propaganda found everywhere in the print media, with caricatures and stereotypes endlessly employed. This biased and unfounded campaign even found its way into numismatics, with many medals featuring iconography that reveals these feelings. At the forefront was the belief that African troops, oversexed and primal, were ravaging German women. Though this campaign subsided in the early 1930's, it certainly wasn't the first appearance of this form of racism, and certainly wouldn't be the last.

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