German Lusitania medallions
Unfortunately these objects are not on display from 22 October 2014 until 27 March 2015.
Accession number MMM.2004.142.1
The first German medallion shown here is from a series produced by Walther Eberbach, 1916, called Totentanz (‘Dance of the Dead’). It shows Death as a skeleton looking at the sinking Lusitania.
Below is a second German edition of the Lusitania medallion by Karl Goetz of Munich. Following his realisation that the original medallion bore the incorrect date ‘5 Mai 1915’, Herr Goetz quickly produced a second medallion to rectify this mistake. This version, shown in the second image on this page, clearly reads ‘7 Mai 1915’.
The original German version was produced only in Germany to mark the sinking. The fact that he got the date wrong enabled Britain to use it as anti-German propaganda to imply that the attack on Lusitania was premeditated.
Accession number MMM.2004.142.2
Around 300, 000 British copies were made on the instructions of Captain Reginald Hall, RN, Director of Naval Intelligence and were widely distributed to strengthen this belief. Goetz produced this second version with the correct date but the Allies had already made full use of his mistake.