World War I


K- 299



(Die weisse Schmach)


1923, Cast bronze, Satirical medal, 61.6mm, 93.30g., Rim-punched, "K•GoeTz".


Obverse:  A high relief bust, left, of Marianne in Phrygian cap marked with the Republique Francaise, RF, monogram. A riding crop rests over her left ear. Inscription, "Die•Wacht an• der•Ruhr!" (The Watch on the Ruhr), below, "Fraternité-" (Brotherhood). K•G above crop handle.


Reverse:  Marianne slowly strangles a German citizen to near death with a rope. Inscription, "Die•Weisse Schmach" (The White Shame). Dated, 1923. Ribboned rim inscription at bottom, "Aus: Pariser Journal" (From Paris Journal).


The French occupation of the Ruhr territory was carried out with extreme cruelty and disregard for civil liberties. During this operation in the small city of Buer, between Recklinghausen and Gelsenkirchen, a German blacksmith was provoked by French troops until he lost control and retaliated by committing manslaughter. This brought one of the cruelest reactions from the French military occupational government. What followed was called the "Hölle von Buer" (The hell of Buer) with near martial law conditions. It nearly strangled all of Buer's normal life.Based on the Westphalian saga that the last battle against evil would be fought between the rivers Lippe and Ruhr, and that victory would come at the birch tree (Birkenbaum). The implications are obvious. The evil being the foreign troops between Lippe and Ruhr. The victor will be Germany in the end. 

A counterpiece to the K-262 through K-264 medals which are called 'The Watch on the Rhine.' This medal emphasizes the "White Shame" relating to the harsh treatment of the white population of the occupied Ruhr Valley by French colonial occupation forces.
This piece is also known in the following composition and size:

36mm Struck bronze
36mm Struck silver, rim-punch 990



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