€20 collectors' coin “125th anniversary of the birth of Bertolt Brecht”

€20 collectors’ coin “125th anniversary of the birth of Bertolt Brecht”

The German government has decided to mint a €20 collector coin marking the 125th anniversary of the birth of Bertolt Brecht (10 February 1898-14 August 1956). To be issued at 9 February 2023, it pays tribute to one of the most influential German playwrights, librettists and poets of the 20th century.

The coin is made of sterling silver (alloy Ag 925). It weighs 18 g, has a diameter of 32.5 mm and will be made available both in mint condition and with a proof-like finish. The mint condition coins will be brought into circulation at their face value (€20). The collector quality coins with a proof-like finish will be higher than their face value and will be issued by the Münze Deutschland (Germany’s official sales agency for collector coins)
The coin was designed by artist Katrin Pannicke, who is based in Halle (Saale) (motif on the picture side modelled on a photo by Gerda Goedhart/Suhrkamp Verlag).

The picture side shows Brecht in a pensive, relaxed posture, drawn in the style of a graphic novel. The breezy rendering of the portrait is complemented by the quotation “Ändere die Welt: sie braucht es!” (change the world: it needs it!), taken from Brecht’s “Die Maßnahme” (1930). Just as Brecht broke new ground as an artist, the coin’s design opts for a life-affirming and, at the same time, restrained visual language. The way in which the portrait and the quotation appear to be rotated out of kilter acts as a subtly productive irritant to the outside gaze.

The reverse features an eagle framed by the words “BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND”, the value and denomination, the letter “J” for the Hamburg Mint, the year 2023, and the twelve stars of Europe. In addition, the words “SILBER 925” are embossed on the reverse.

Its smooth edge is engraved with the inscription: “DAS SCHICKSAL DES MENSCHEN IST DER MENSCH” (The fate of man is man)