Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein ~ September 2022

Political Steins - Part VI
              By Roy De Selms - Carolina Steiners

Many years ago Dr. Joseph Hersh wrote an encyclopedic article about an anti-Semitic stein leading up to the Holocaust (Prosit 6/79) and I later followed up with somewhat-related steins representing the 19th C labor movement, socialism and Zionism (Prosit 12/03 and earlier).

Recently an interesting stein appeared on eBay with an after-market scene on a 0.5 L. Villeroy & Boch Mettlach 1526 body dated 1894. It was not uncommon for VBM to sell blank stein bodies to be decorated elsewhere and when they did that, the bodies were not marked with any logos because VBM did not retain control over the content or quality of the final product.

At first glance the scene might appear to represent the children's fairy tale of "The Three Little Pigs", but on closer inspection there's something sinister going on here. This is clearly an anti-Semitic scene! The three pigs represent Jews allegedly having ravaged Germany and holding their loot in Bank Noten (bank notes) and a large sack labeled 100.000 (note that commas and periods are reversed in German numbering), assumed to be 100 K Marks in gold and silver coins. The pig in the middle wears a gold medallion on a blue ribbon hung around his neck.

The medallion is a little difficult to discern, but is definitely one of the leaders of the Zionist movement. It bears good likeness to a photographic portrait of Theodor Herzl who led the first meeting in Basel Switzerland in 1896 to formally begin the Zionist movement to voluntarily return Jews to the Holy Land of Israel. Note that the stein body is dated 1894 and the decoration had to be applied later but probably within a few years. This date with the slightly later decoration appears to coincide with the formalizing of Zionism in 1896 and slightly but significantly later than events between 1886 and 1893 which had highlighted anti-Semitism on the German political scene.

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