Description of the artwork «OCCUPATIONAL PROVINCE OF MAINTAINS (Besetzung des Maingaues)»
OCCUPATION OF THE MAIN PROVINCE OF MAINZ
(Besetzung des Maingaues)
1920, Cast Bronze, Satirical Medal, 58.9 mm, 49.10 g, perforated on rim; "K-GoeTz."
Obverse: Ferdinand Foch, Commander-in-Chief of France, like a giant, sitting on the roof of Frankfurt Town Hall, unsheathing his sword. The inscription on the rim reads: "Surrounding Mainz 6.4.1920" (Occupation of the Mainz area). KG, divided in half by a water fountain.
Reverse: The Frenchman leaves with a bag marked "1 million marks - Burgshaft in Frankfurt" (1 million marks - Bail from Frankfurt) and leaves a whip with a handle marked "Iruckversicherung" (Assurance) as collateral, along with the heads of six prominent citizens of Frankfurt taken hostage. A jack in the box with the inscription "Ruhr gespenst" (Ruhr ghost) sits nearby. The inscription on the border reads "Der klägliche Ruchzug" (Pathetic Retreat). Dated May 17, 1920.
The Communist outbreak in the industrial areas of the Ruhr led Germany to ask permission to suppress the disturbances with troops. The British were inclined to grant the request, but France resisted. The Germans took matters into their own hands and moved the Reichswehr into the demilitarized zone. In retaliation, the French immediately occupied Frankfurt and Darmstadt. Under Articles 42 and 43 of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was forbidden to keep or assemble troops permanently or temporarily in the demilitarized zone. When the Germans withdrew their troops from the Ruhr area, France began the evacuation of Frankfurt and Darmstadt.