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Karl Goetz was a medal maker from Munich, he produced a satirical medal in response to the German Navy's sinking of the Lusitania.
His satire was aimed directly at Cunard and the German government.
Only a handful were ever made by Goetz, but the British Government seized on it and Selfridge's, the famous London department store,
mass produced a copy of his medal with a very anti-German flyer.
The original Goetz medal is bronze-like and has the date as 5th Mai, (German spelling) whereas the British version was made of a grey
metal and has the correct date of 7th May, (English spelling).
Goetz later produced a bronze-like version bearing the correct date in German, (7th Mai) but by then the medal had lost any popularity it
Neither Walther Schwieger, nor his crew, at any time ever received any medal specifically for the sinking of the Lusitania.
Front and Back of a Goetz Original medal.
Lusitania Online collection.
A copy of the propaganda flyer put out with the British version of the medal.
The text of the flyer reads;
"This medal has been struck in Germany with the object of keeping alive in
German Hearts the recollection of the glorious achievement of the
German Navy in deliberately destroying an unarmed passenger ship, together
with 1,198 non combatant men, women and children.
On the obverse, under the legend "No contraband" (Keine Bannware), there is
a representation of the Lusitania sinking. The designer has put in guns and
aeroplanes, which (as certified by United States Government officials after
inspection) the Lusitania did not carry,but has conveniently omitted to put in the
women and children, which the world knows she did carry. On the reverse,
under the legend "Business above all" (Geschaft uber alles), the figure of
Death sits at the booking office of the Cunard Line and gives out tickets to
passengers, who refuse to attend to the warning against submarines given by
a German.This picture seeks apparently to propound the theory that if a
murderer warns his victim of his intention,the guilt of the crime will rest with the
victim,not with the murderer".
Another quite different bronze Lusitania medallion. This
one was produced by Arthur George Walker (1861-
1939). He is well known for his statue of Florence
Nightingale at Waterloo Place, London, among many
others. There is a good provenance for this item as it
comes from the estate of another well-known Royal
This medallion may be of great interest to people
concerned with the history of the Lusitania, as it may
possibly reveal a concern by an artist of significant
standing artist to combat what he might have seen as the
cynicism of the Goertz medallion. Further research
would be interesting, though there seem to be few if any
archival sources of information about Walker.
Steve Musgrave/Lusitania Online