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Remscheid 500 million mark note, saved by German Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2011.259.21

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    Remscheid 500 million mark note, saved by German Jewish refugee


    Brief Narrative
    Remscheid District, Germany 500 million mark note saved by Carl Werner Lenneberg. This note was emergency currency, valid for one year, 1923-1924, issued by the local government in Remscheid during the period of hyperinflation that threatened the stability of the country. Inflation was unstoppable: in 1919, there were 47 marks to a dollar; in 1922, it went from 1000 to 7000; in 1923, from 17,000 to 4,200,000,000,000. Lenneberg was a decorated World War I veteran originally from Remscheid. 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 August 11
    issue: Remscheid (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ron Lenneberg
    face, top corners, white : 500 MILLIONEN [500 MILLION]
    face, center, black ink : Stadt Remscheid / 500 / Millionen Mark / zahlen die städtischen kassen in Remscheid dem Einlieferer dieses Scheines. / Der Zeitpunst der Einlösung wird in der Remscheider Zeitung befannt gegeben. [City Remscheid / 500 / Million Mark / the municipal coffers in Remscheid pay the consignor of this bill. / The date of the redemption will be announced in the Remscheider Newspaper.]
    face, bottom center, black ink : No 367678 ✽
    face, bottom, black ink : Remscheid, / den 11. August 1923. / Serie B / Der Oberbürgermeister : [Remscheid, August 11, 1923. Serie B The Lord Mayor]
    back, within picture, black ink : Remscheider Talsperre Erste Talsperre Deutschlands [Remscheider Dam First Dam of Germany
    back, bottom, black ink : 500 / MILLIONEN MARK / STADT REMSCHEID
    Issuer: Stadt Remscheid

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Physical Description
    500 million mark note printed on rectangular offwhite paper in brown and black ink. The face has a narrow margin and light brown rectangle with an interior zigzag line border with a a with the denomination 500 millionen in the top corners. There is a tripartite floral embellishment underprint across the center on a background of zigzag patterned circles. Over this are several lines of German text in Fraktur font, with the serial and series letter long the bottom. The back is with a plaid background with a framed oval with a distant view of the Remscheider Dam with a palace on the right, trees in the foreground, and a lake in the background. On the left is a seal with a shield with a rampant lion and an eagle on top and a miner with his tool on the left and right. On the right is a white seal watermark. The denomination 500 millionenen is printed at the bottom.
    overall: Height: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm) | Width: 5.125 inches (13.017 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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