Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp scrip, 5 kronen note, acquired by a Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 1989.243.56

Scrip, valued at 5 kronen, distributed in Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto-labor camp and acquired post-war by Ernst (Ernest) Heppner. Currency was confiscated from inmates and replaced with scrip, which could only be used in the camp. The scrip was part of an elaborate illusion to make the camp seem normal and appear as though workers were being paid for their labor, but the money had no real monetary value. Ernst was living in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), with his parents, Isidor and Hilda, and his half-sister, Else, who was severely handicapped from contracting polio as a young child. He also had an older half-brother, Heinz (Henry), who lived with his wife and young child. Following the Kristallnacht program and Heinz’s subsequent arrest in November 1938, the family began looking at emigration options. Else planned to immigrate to South America with her fiancée. Seventeen-year-old Ernst and his mother secured passage on a ship to Shanghai, China, where they arrived in March 1939. Ernst and Hilda survived the war in Shanghai, and immigrated to the United States with Ernst’s new wife, Illo, in July 1947. Heinz and his family immigrated to England in 1939. However, Isidor and Else were unable to escape Germany. In April 1942, Isidor was deported to Kolomyja ghetto in German-occupied Poland, and likely died that year. Else was deported to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia in April 1943. In October 1944, she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland, where she was killed.

issue:  1943 January 01
use: Theresienstadt (Concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
Exchange Media
Object Type
Scrip (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ernest G. Heppner
Record last modified: 2023-08-24 13:46:48
This page: