(Die schwarze Wacht am Rhein)

1920, Cast bronze, Satirical medal, 58.3mm, 64.60g.

Obverse: A French colonial soldier, right. Inscriptions, "Die Wacht am Rhein!!" (The Watch on the Rhine!!) and "Liberte, Égalité, Fraternité" (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity). Dated 1920

Reverse: The Lorelei sits naked and tied to a tree which is in the form of an erect penis; a French helmet is on top. Lorelei's broken lyre is nearby. The eye of God watches over from above. Inscription, "Die schwarze Schande" (The Black Shame). K•G in exergue.


This piece is also known in the following compositions and sizes:

  • 57mm Blackened Cast Iron
  • 56mm Cast aluminum
  • 36mm Struck bronze
  • 36mm Struck silver, rim punch "990"


This medal was Goetz' protest for the arrival of black colonial French troops to occupy the Rhine territory. Most certainly a ploy by the French to humiliate the Germans, Goetz was obviously livid with the action.

Here we see his vitriolic response over several 'reported' rapes and sexual excesses by these occupying troops. History now shows that these fears were unfounded and reports of rape were more exception than rule. This does not remove the fact that this 'infamous' iconography still overshadows Goetz' entire oeuvre.

Known Variety
1920, Cast bronze, Satirical medal, 59.2mm, 61.30g.

Obverse: Same as K-262

Reverse: The penis has had a oak tree branch and roots added to the base and shaft of the penis. The testicles have also been covered with long grasses.


This variety is only known in 60mm Cast bronze.