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Weimar Germany, 10 billion mark note, saved by German Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2011.259.19

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    Weimar Germany, 10 billion mark note, saved by German Jewish refugee


    Brief Narrative
    Weimar Germany 10 billion mark note saved by Carl Werner Lenneberg. This currency was issued by the new democratic government that ruled Germany after World War I (1914-1918), when it was in a period of hyper inflation that threatened the stability of the country. During the war, Lenneberg was a soldier in the 8th (Rhenish) Foot Artillery Battalion, XVI Army Corps, German Army. In January 1933, Hitler and the Nazi regime took power. Anti-Jewish policies put increasingly harsh restrictions on Jewish life. Werner and his brother Georg were arrested during Kristallnacht, November 9-10, 1938, and sent to Dachau concentration camp. After release, they left Germany on the ill-fated voyage of the MS St. Louis to Havana, Cuba, May 13-June 17, 1939. Upon the ship's forced return to Europe, Carl and George were in the group given asylum in Belgium. In April 1940, they sailed from Antwerp to New York.
    issue:  1923 October 01
    issue: Berlin (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ron Lenneberg
    face, left side, black ink : 10 MILLIARDEN MARK [10 Billion Marks]
    face, center, black ink : REICHSBANKNOTE / ZEHN MILLIARDEN / MARK / zahlt di Reichsbankhauptkasse / in Berlin gegen diese Banknote / dem Einlieferer / BERLIN, DEN 1 OKTOBER 1923 / REICHSBANKDIREKTORIUM / LE - 19 [REICHSBANKNOTE / 10 BILLION / MARK / pays the Reichsbank capital bank / in Berlin against this banknote / the Consignor / BERLIN, THE 1 OCTOBER 1923 / REICHSBANK BOARD OF DIRECTORS / LE - 19]
    face, center, red ink : 123395
    face, vertical right side, black ink : Wer Banknoten nachmacht oder verläscht, oder nachgemachte oder verfälschte sich / verschafft und in Verkehr bringt, wird mit Zuchthaus nicht unter 2 Jahren bestraft. [Anyone who imitates or distorts banknotes, or imitates or falsifies himself and puts them on the market, shall be punished with imprisonment not less than 2 years]
    Issuer: Deutsche Reichsbank

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Physical Description
    10 billion German mark note printed on one side of rectangular white paper in brown, red-brown, and black ink. On each side is a vertical panel with an intricate Art Nouveau geometric background and scalloped edges. The left has the denomination 10 Milliarden Mark; the right has 2 lines of small text. In the center is a square with a central abstract floral embellishment on a background of 10s alternating with small flowers overprinted with the denomination Zehn Milliarden Mark and German text, with 2 Reichsbank seals in the bottom corners and the serial number in red ink in the bottom right. The back is blank. The note is wrinkled, torn, and soiled along the edges.
    overall: Height: 4.125 inches (10.477 cm) | Width: 6.000 inches (15.24 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The money was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2011 by Ron Lenneberg, the son of Carl Werner Lenneberg.
    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:
    2022-07-28 18:26:35
    This page:

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