Summary

Note: This object includes a deeply distressing image of an abused woman. It also includes a derogatory depiction of a particular cultural group. Such depictions are not condoned by Museums Victoria which considers them to be racist and sexist. Historical distance and context does not excuse or erase this fact.

Medal Die Wacht Am Rhein!! (The Watch on the Rhine!!), by Karl Goetz, Germany, 1921.

Goetz created this medal in protest to the post-war occupation of the Rhine territory by colonial French troops of colour, probably intended to humiliate Germany. Rumours of rapes and sexual excesses circulated (although these fears were shown to be unfounded, and rapes exceptional rather than common).

Obverse Description

Caricature of a French colonial soldier's face. The helmeted soldier's African features are exaggerated. Text around reads: 'DIE WACHT AM RHEIN !!' (The Watch on the Rhine!!); text behind and below reads: '1920 / LIBERTE / EGALITE / FRATERNI / TE'.

Reverse Description

Naked female with her arms tied to a military helmet-capped phallus behind her back; before her, a lyre with broken strings; above, an eye watching from a radiate triangle; around, text reads: 'DIE SCHWARZE SCHANDE' (the Black Dishonor). Artist's initials 'K.G.' below the figure.

Edge Description

Plain

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