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Lodz (Litzmannstadt) ghetto scrip, 2 mark note, found postwar

Object | Accession Number: 1986.33.2

Lodz Ghetto 2 [zwei] mark receipt acquired by Miriam Novitch sometime after the war ended in May 1945 while visiting the site of the former Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in Czechoslovakia. It is the type that was issued in Lodz Ghetto in German occupied Poland from May 1940 until summer 1944. Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and occupied Lodz one week later. Lodz 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] for use 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, Lodz, the last ghetto in Poland, was destroyed and the remaining Jews were sent to Chelmno and Auschwitz-Birkenau killing centers. Miriam, a member of the Communist resistance, was interned in German occupied France from June 1943 until liberation in fall 1944. After the war and for the rest of her life, she dedicated herself to the research and preservation of Holocaust related materials.

1940 May 15  (issue)
after 1945 May  (found)
issue : Litzmannstadt-Getto (Lodz ghetto) (historic); Lodz (Poland)
acquired : Theresienstadt (Concentration camp) postwar; Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
Exchange Media
Object Type
Scrip (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Miriam Novitch
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:07:08
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