United States of America, 1939. This is a bronze medal designed by Mario Kobel and struck by the Medallic Art Company, which at the time operated out of New York (today it is located in Nevada). On March 15, 1939, German troops marched into Czechoslovakia, occupying Bohemia and establishing a protectorate over Slovakia, and triggered the end of the policy of appeasement. The 1939 New York World's Fair opened on April 30 of that year; this coin was struck for the Czechoslovakian Consulate on the account of former Czech Consul Horejc. Due to the invasion, Czechoslovakia had an unfinished pavilion at the Fair, and this medal was distributed to people who came by it and contributed to the Czech Resistance. In Czech, the coin says "PRAVDA ZVITEZI" -- The truth will prevail; in English it says "CZECHO SLOVAKIA SHALL BE FREE AGAIN". One side depicts a man chained to two columns decorated with swastikas and topped by German army helmets; snakes encircle the columns. The man is surrounded by his family and in the background are landmarks of Prague, including the Castle and the Charles Bridge. The observe shows the date of occupation and reads "REPUBLIKA CESKOSLOVENSKA" alongside the seal of the country. These coins were originally distributed with a booklet that you can find online that described the reasons for the unfinished nature of the Czechoslovakian pavilion. Size: 1.5" W (3.8 cm).
Provenance: Ex-private M. Reiniger collection, Chicago, IL.
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