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Łódź (Litzmannstadt) ghetto scrip, 50 pfennig note

Object | Accession Number: 1987.90.70

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    Łódź (Litzmannstadt) ghetto scrip, 50 pfennig note

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    50 [funfzig] pfennig receipt issued in the Łódź ghetto in Poland beginning in May 1940 until the ghetto was liquidated in summer 1944. Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and occupied Łódź one week later. Łódź was renamed Litzmannstadt and, by February 1940, the Germans forcibly relocated the large Jewish population of 160,000 into a small, sealed ghetto. All residents had to work and many were forced laborers in ghetto factories. Residents were forbidden to have German currency, and the Jewish Council was ordered to create a system of Quittungen [receipts] that could be used only in the ghetto. The scrip, sometimes referred to as rumkis, after the Elder of the Judenrat, Mordechai Rumkowski, was issued in 7 denominations: 50 pfenning, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 marks, as well as coins. It acted as a labor incentive and facilitated the confiscation of money and goods from internees. There was little to exchange it for in the ghetto. Living conditions were horrendous; the severe overcrowding and lack of food made disease and starvation common. In January 1942, mass deportations to Chelmno killing center began; half the residents were murdered by the end of the year. In summer 1944, Łódź, the last ghetto in Poland, was destroyed and the remaining Jews were sent to Chelmno and Auschwitz-Birkenau killing centers.
    Date
    issue:  1940 May 15
    Geography
    issue: Litzmannstadt-Getto (Łódź, Poland); Łódź (Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Żydowski Instytut Historyczny im. Emanuela Ringelbluma
    Markings
    face, lower left and upper right corners, on purple ink : 50 / 50
    face, black ink: QUITTUNG / ÜBER / 50 PFENNIG / DER AELTESTE DER JUDEN / IN LITZMANNSTADT / M. Rumkowski / LITZMANNSTADT , DEN 15 MAI 1940 [Receipt / about / 50 pennies / The Eldest of the Jews / in Litzmannstadt / M. Rumkowski / Litzmannstadt May 15, 1940]
    back, left and right corner, black ink : 50
    back, top center, black ink: QUITTUNG ÜBER / FÜNFZIG PFENNIG / WER DIESE QUITTUNG VERFÄLSCHT / ODER NACHMACHT ODER GEFÄLSCHTE / QUITTUNGEN IN VERKEHR BRINGT / WIRD STRENGSTENS BESTRAFT [ANYONE WHO FALSIFIES OR COPIES THIS RECEIPT, OR TRAFFICS IN COUNTERFEIT RECEIPTS, WILL BE STRICTLY PUNISHED]
    back, center, red ink : Nº 022036

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Exchange Media
    Category
    Money
    Object Type
    Scrip (aat)
    Genre/Form
    Money
    Physical Description
    Łódź ghetto scrip, torn in 2 pieces, on offwhite rectangular paper printed with black and purple ink. The face has a background of interlocked Stars of David resembling barbed wire. The denomination 50 within a purple square is in the lower left and upper right corners. A Star of David within a purple square is in the upper left and lower right corners. In the center is a 7 branched menorah overlaid with the denomination 50 PFENNIG, with German text above and below. The back has a background of interlocked Stars of David resembling barbed wire with the denomination 50 in the upper corners. In the center is the denomination FUNFZIG PFENNIG, the serial number in red ink, and German text. The scrip is extremely worn and faded; the 2 pieces are held together by adhesive tape.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 2.125 inches (5.398 cm) | Width: 3.375 inches (8.573 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The scrip was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1987 by the Zydowski Instytut Historyczny im. Emanuela Ringelbluma.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-06 09:58:03
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn16640

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