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Germany: Anti-Semitic conservative movement brass tallion, 1892
Item code: 0130341

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Germany: Anti-Semitic German conservative movement tallion ("Ahlwardt und Pückler"), 1892; struck in silvered brass; by H.Z. (Hans Zeissig?); size: 36mm, weight: 15g.

Obverse: depicts medieval styled image of armored knight fighting winged dragon with mountain and cave in background, and German legend in old script above "Der ernste kampf gilt Judas Macht" ("The serious battle is Judas is making").

Reverse: an image of a solid blooming tree with Church and 'blazing' Cross in background, with German legend in old script above "Gedenke dass du ein Deutscher bist" ("Remember that you are a German" - with the less formal "Du"), and date in exergue and medallist's initals just below tree.

Kirschner (p.76) attributes this medal to two contemporary German anti-Semitic politicians of the time, Hermann Ahlwardt and Graf Walter von Puckler-Muskau, and describes the "two knights" and representing them - although there is only 1 knight in the design.

Ahlwardt (1846-1914) was a Berlin school teacher and rector who fought in the Franco-Prussian war (1870) and entered financial difficulties which included accusations of embezzlement against him; several Jewish friends and lawyers assisted him in extricating himself from the problems and during the 1880's he presented himself as philo-Judaic.

However political opportunity beyond the Conservative party brought him to the anti-Semitic establishment where he began propagating a vicious brand of anti-Semitism which included sensational claims in 1892 that the Ludwig Loewe gun factory was supplying the military with faulty rifles as part of a Judeo-French conspiracy.

He associated himself with several leading German anti-Semites of the time, like Otto Böckel, gained a loyal following in conservative state like Brandenburg and Pomerania where he became known as the "Rector of all Germans", and succeeded in being elected to the Reichstag in 1892 and 1893, until he was dispossed by his party in 1895 largely on account of his very extreme and [mentally] unstable brand of anti-Semitism.

Walter von Pückler (born 1860) is a more obscure figure in the German anti-Semitic movement and appears to have gained notoriety only around 1899 on account of his vicious vocal cries to "beat the Jews," "crack their skulls," "kick them out," "thrash them," and more. He claimed to be the successor of Adolf Stöcker and Ahlwardt, but was subsequently found to be mentally unsound, in 1905.

In the literature of German anti-Semitic medals and tallions, Stocker and Ahlwardt's movements are the most prominent, and Ahlwardt's activities dovetail with the date of this specific tallion making it most probably associated with his election campaign in 1892.

The medallist himself, "H.Z.", may be Hans Zeissig of Leipzig, mentioned in Forrer (vol. 6, pg. 725), who came to that author's attention in 1907 at the 'Berlin Kunst Austellung' of 1907, and whose works there included a piece called "Freiheit" ("Freedom"), and whose other medallic/tallion works include sports movement emblems.

In EF, with most of the silver finish intact, and much luster; edges on both sides are milled but medal alignment is a little off on obverse; Kirschner-41.

מילות מפתח: מדליות אנטישמיות סטיריות מאה 19 20 יודאיקה יודאיכה גרמניה