This medal was chosen as the 28th issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series in 1943.
The obverse bears couple in modern dress kneeling in prayer; orator in eighteenth-century costume speaks to seated figures, one of with left hand raised. Above and below, FREEDOM OF / SPEECH / RELIGION
The reverse bears farmer standing with sheaf of wheat and calf watching seated woman holding a healthy infant. Above, FREEDOM FROM WANT AND FROM FEAR; below © C.L.SCHMITZ
This medal is one of the two war-time SOM medals that were originally struck in silver because copper was largely dedicated to war needs. Apparently, 35 37mm-diameter pieces were struck in bronze but even long-time collectors have not seen any. Some were later struck in the 1970's, in bronze and silver and in the small 37mm as well as the large 73mm diameter.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt had helped popularize the idea of the Four Freedoms in his State of the Union address in 1941. German-born Schmitz (Metz was at the time of his birth still part of the German Empire) subscribed whole-heartedly to these ideals. He wrote:
"It is fitting that we, who have enjoyed the full measure of the 'Four Freedoms,' should be the instrument by which these rights of man are proclaimed. The task is hard, but with faith in ourselves and our fellowman, it will be done."
This medal was produced in 37mm and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. The reported production quantity of this medal is 796 small-diameter silver, 35 small-diameter bronze, 100 large-diameter bronze, and 100 large-diameter silver.