Obverse. Photo © Monetnik.ru
  • 2 Euro 2020, KM# 388, Germany, Federal Republic, 50th Anniversary of the Warsaw Genuflection
  • 2 Euro 2020, KM# 388, Germany, Federal Republic, 50th Anniversary of the Warsaw Genuflection

The term Kniefall von Warschau, also referred to as Warschauer Kniefall, (both German for "Warsaw genuflection") refers to a gesture of humility and penance by West German Chancellor Willy Brandt towards the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the 1943 act of Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during World War II to oppose Nazi Germany's final effort to transport the remaining ghetto population to Majdanek and Treblinka concentration camps. After the Grossaktion Warsaw of summer 1942, in which more than a quarter of a million Jews were deported from the ghetto to Treblinka and murdered, the remaining Jews began to build bunkers and smuggle weapons and explosives into the ghetto.

The uprising started on 19 April when the ghetto refused to surrender to the police commander SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop, who then ordered the burning of the ghetto, block by block, ending on 16 May. A total of 13,000 Jews died, about half of them burnt alive or suffocated. It was the largest single revolt by Jews during World War II.


Depicts German Chancellor Willy Brandt on his knees in front of a monument to the German occupation-era Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, surrounded by the inscription "50th Anniversary of the Warsaw Genuflection", date and mintmark in the centre-left, engraver's initials on top and mintmark (A for Berlin, D for Munich, F for Stuttgart, G for Karlsruhe, J for Hamburg) on centre-right.

The event took place on December 7, 1970, in Warsaw, Poland (which was then part of the Eastern Bloc). Surrounded by politicians, journalists and photographers, Brandt approaches the monument. He straightens the ribbon of the funeral wreath, which is adorned with white carnations and takes a few steps back. As the ashen-faced Chancellor touches the wreath, it happens: Willy Brandt, almost 57 years old and the first Social Democrat Chancellor in the history of West Germany, drops to his knees. It occurs so suddenly and comes across as so authentic and honest that those present immediately fall silent, with the silence only interrupted by the frantic clicking of camera shutters. Brandt stays down on his knees for around thirty seconds, which – owing to the tremendous humility of the gesture – feels like an eternity.

Engraver: Bodo Broschat



A geographical map of Western Europe spans the outer ring and inner core on the right side of the coin. The inscription 2 EURO is superimposed over the map of Europe, with the numeral “2” located in an open field representing the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

12 stars are located on the right side of the outer ring, with six stars atop the map of Europe and six stars below it; six vertical stripes cut across the inner core of the coin, visually connecting the upper and lower star segments.

Luc Luycx, a designer at the Royal Belgian Mint, designed the Euro’s common reverse; his initials, LL, are seen on the right side of the design, just under the “O” in “EURO.”



UNITY AND JUSTICE AND FREEDOM in German, Germany's national motto and the beginning of Germany's national anthem, followed by the Federal Eagle


2 Euro

50th Anniversary of the Warsaw Genuflection

KM# 388
Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Bi-Metallic
Ring Cupronickel
Center Nickel Brass
Weight 8.5 g
Diameter 25.75 mm
Thickness 2.2 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Bavarian Central Mint (D)
Berlin State Mint (A)
Hamburg Mint (J)
Karlsruhe State Mint (G)
Stuttgart State Mint (F)

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