Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London
by Victor Demanet Click on the links below to find out more
bronze medal, 1938
2 3/4 in. (70 mm) diameter
Given by Marion Harry Spielmann, 1939
To the left of the head, the letters PAX can be made out, alluding to the Munich accord of September 1938 ('Peace in our time', to quote Chamberlain's words). This uniface medal was published in 1938 by the Belgian medallist, Victor Demanet, at a subscription price of 250 francs in silver or 30 francs in bronze. This example in bronze was given to the Gallery by the art critic and collector, Marion Harry Spielmann, in 1939.
Britain pursues its policy of appeasement. At the Munich Agreement, Britain, France and Italy agreed to allow Hitler to seize the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia. The agreement was seen at the time as a triumph for peace, with Neville Chamberlain returning home brandishing the paper agreement and saying 'peace for our time.' Within six months Germany had occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia.
Art and science
Graham Greene publishes Brighton Rock
. The novel follows the decent of Pinky, a teenage gang leader in Brighton's criminal underworld. The book examines the criminal mind and explores the themes of morality and sin - recurrent concerns for the Roman Catholic Author. Glasgow hosts the Empire Exhibition
; an £11 million celebration of the British Empire visited by 13 million people.
In its pursuit of 'Lebensraum' (living space), Germany annexes Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia with little opposition from the League of Nations. At home, the Nazis continued their escalating persecution of the Jews with 'Kristallnach' (the Night of Broken Glass), attacking Jewish homes, shops, businesses and synagogues, and taking Jewish men to concentration camps.