Just plain wrong... (WARNING not for children!)

MadMax13

New member
I don't offend easily, but this is messed up. I'm assuming Ebay hasn't picked up on this one yet.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Karl-Goetz-Propoganda-Medal-Black-Soldiers-/270581953779?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3efff0f4f3
 

Lost Skeleton

Active member
Holy Cow! That's the most shameful thing I've seen in a long, long time.

It makes "chicken" seem poultry, er, paltry by comparison.

Chas :eek:
 

strathdene

New member
Re German Proprogana Medal by Karl Goetz. Occupation Medal by French African Soldiers displaying caricature of Black French Soldier dated 1920 with motto "Die Wacht Am Rhein" & "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite". Reverse displays "all seeing eye" looking down on a nude woman chained to a penis wearing a French helmet with the motto "Die Scherze Schande"
I have noticed this medal whilst reading the book "Before My Helpless Sight. Suffering, Dying and Military Medicine on the Western Front, 1914-1918 by Leo van Bergen.
I hope this is of interest. Pg.76
It was partly because of this inablity of soldiers from Asian and African colonies to understand the war that they were fighting that the price they paid was so high. Around 250,000 French colonial soldiers were killed. No one doubted their courage. It was one of the reasons they were always in the first wave of an assault, although racist arguments also played a part. To take one example, of the 5,000 Moroccan soldiers deployed at the Battle of the Marne, led by 103 French officiers, 4,250 were killed, or 85 per cent. Of their French officers 'only' 50 per cent lost their lives.
Horror at occasional acts by individual soldiers from the colonies is understandable, but grateful use was made of them. Their so-called barbarity was one reason for setting them unusually difficult tasks. German soldiers knew that they could expect no mercy from colonial troops, and this made them even more fearful of an attack. At the time of the occupation of the Rhineland in the interwar years, Zuckmayer remarked that such fears had been unfounded and that the Senegalese, and like all soldiers in those days, acted out of sheer terror
Carl Zuckmayer, German novelist and soldier was 17 when war was declared and five years latter he comitted his memories to paper
I am surprised that ebay has allowed this listing as it is racist. I also agree that it is wrong :sad3:
 

MadMax13

New member
Like I figured it was only a matter of time till the auction would get booted.
I wonder what type of person would collect crap like this? Don't get me wrong I'm all for collecting and it's historical purposes, but out right racist garbage like this piece shouldn't even be worth its weight in copper.
 

Lost Skeleton

Active member
I purchased a copy of this excellent history of the colonial forces at Foyle's in London last August:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/World-War-One-Continents-Flanders/dp/902097727X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274590134&sr=8-1

Page 81 pictures a "chaste" 1921 version of the Götz medal in which the phallus was replaced with a column inscribed Zum Hohn der Deutscher Frau (The scorn of German women).

Though it is commendable eBay pulled the auction, I wish they would act just as swiftly when it comes to the myriad rip-offs and fakes they apparently sanction.

Chas
 

Gustaf

Well-known member
Staff member
This item is indeed obsene, not because of its content, but because of its context. I do believe however, that the history of rasisum needs to be preserved (but not in my collection) There are many refference books that record this item, and that is good enough for me.
We need to be aware that this medalion did exsist, just as we need to be aware that Pershing gave American soldiers to the French, because the US Army did not have a place for black soldiers, Coloured servants were fine, but not coloured soldiers.
And Chas is right, this sort of thing does put chicken in perspective, but someone always needs to be blamed, and I blame Max:)
Best wishes
Gus
 

strathdene

New member
There are many references to this medal. The Imperial War Musuem has a listing of this medal as well as other medals of Karl Goetz. eg The Lusitania Medal ( Two versions as he got the date wrong on the first one. ). In his life's work, some 784 different medals were produced including 175 with satirical themes. ( It seems that even the Occupation of the Rhine Medal was reproduced in 1921 with a pillar replacing the penis. )
However, it does fit into ebay's offensive material policy.
Whilst researching Karl Goetz, I did come across this medal on a website for sale for $350.00. in its Third Reich section
 

Gustaf

Well-known member
Staff member
One thing we need to remember, propaganda usually obscene. Even the Lustania medallion is obscene, as it seems to celebrate the loss of inocent life.
Gsu
 

strathdene

New member
The Lusitania Medal is a interesting case of propaganda.
The obverse displays the liner slipping beneath the waves stern first with obvious war contraband on her deck with the admonishment above "No Contraband Goods" . Below in exergue "The Liner Lusitania Sunk By German Submarine May 5 1915".
The incorrect date was an error that Goetz latter attributed to a flawed newspaper account which made this a controversial piece ( later produced with a corrected date ).
The reverse displays a skeleton ( representing death ) selling passage with the motto "Business For All" mocking Cunard Line for placing lives at risk. Also displayed is a man reading a newspaper with the headline "U Boat Danger" whilst German Ambassador Count Johann-Heinrich Von Bernstorff wags his finger reminding passenders buying tickets that the Germans had placed a warning advertisement in the same newspaper as the Cunard Line sailing schedule.
Most authorities now agree that the Lusitania was carrying war materials. The British Official History acknowledges the presence on board of rifle cartridges and shrapnel shell cases.
British Intelligence seized upon the medal to give a new lease of life to the propaganda impact of the sinking and the date to exploit it for their own purposes.
Some 300,000 British copies of Goetz original medal were made by British Intelligence. The logic was that the date error could be used to imply 'advanced planning' and the Lusitania's fate was sealed before her departure thus premeditated and prearranged although obviously some unspecified circumstance had prevented its accomplishment on the ordained date. Goetz work was thus placed on par with a German 'commemorative' medal struck in anticipation of the capture of Paris ( Entry of the German Troops into Paris ) a work which was hastily suppressed after the Battle of the Marne.
That's propaganda :spam1:
 

Tschako

New member
I know this thread is a year old, but I still need to make a comment. This medal is a fact of history. So is the history of racisim in America. It should not be ignored, shoved in the closet etc.
Only by pointing it out, will it be seen as wrong to future generations. This does not seem quite as grotesque to me as collecting Nazi concentration camp inmate clothing, concentration camp SS memorabilia etc. Yes, it was made with racist intention, so were many other things that need to be part of our history. Now, I've probably offended someone else :twisted:
 
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