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Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp scrip, 20 kronen note

Object | Accession Number: 1990.53.5

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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Theresienstadt scrip, valued at 20 [zwanzig] kronen of the type issued in Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto-labor camp in German occupied Czecjoslovakia from September 1944-May 1945. The ghetto currency was distributed from May 1943, and Rene saved one of each denomination: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100. The scrip was issued to create a false appearance of normalcy in the camp. There was nothing to obtain with the scrip. Soon after Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, Rene's parents Hans and Hanna fled Berlin with their infant son to Hilversum, Netherlands. In May 1940, Germany occupied the Netherlands. In January 1942, Rene and his parents were interned in Westerbork transit camp. In September 1944, they were deported to Theresienstadt. Soon after their arrival, his father was sent to Auschwitz and murdered. Theresienstadt was liberated by Soviet troops on May 9, 1945. Rene and his mother were repatriated to the Netherlands. They left for America in 1948.
    Date
    issue:  1943 January 01
    Geography
    issue: Theresienstadt (Concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jaroslav Pistek
    Markings
    front, upper center, green ink : QUITTUNG ÜBER / ZWANZIG KRONEN [RECEIPT OF / TWENTY CROWNS]
    front, lower center, green ink : 20
    front, lower center, green ink : WER DIESE QUITTUNG VERFÄLSCHT ODER NACHMACHT / ODER GEFÄLSCHTE QUITTUNGEN IN VERKEHR BRINGT. / WIRD STRENGSTENS BESTRAFT [ANYONE WHO FALSIFIES OR DISTORTS OR FAKES THIS RECEIPT, OR COUNTERFEITS RECEIPT, WILL BE STRICTLY PUNISHED]
    reverse, upper left, serial number, red ink : 002010
    reverse, right, lower right, series number, red ink : O
    reverse, lower left and upper right, green ink : 20
    reverse, center, green ink : Quittung / über / ZWANZIG KRONEN / THERESIENSTADT, AM 1.JANNER 1943 DER ALTESTE DER JUDEN / IN THERESIENSTADT / Jakob Edelstein [Receipt / of / TWENTY CROWNS. THERESIENSTADT, ON 1. JANUARY 1943 THE ELDER OF THE JEWS IN THERESIENSTADT]
    Contributor
    Printer: National Bank of Prague
    Designer: Peter Kien
    Issuer: Der Alteste der Juden in Theresienstadt
    Biography
    Franz Peter Kien was born January 1, 1919, in Varnsdorf, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), to Leonard and Olga Frankl Kien. His father Leonard was born in 1886, in Varnsdorf, and was a member of the German-speaking Jewish population in the, the Sudetenalnd, which bordered Germany. Leonard was a textile manufacturer with his own factory. Peter’s mother Olga was born in 1898, in Bzenec, Austro-Hungary (Czech Republic), to Jewish parents. After 1929, the Kien family moved to Brno. Peter enrolled at the German Gymnasium, where he excelled at drawing, painting, and writing. In 1936, he graduated and moved to Prague to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. He also attended the Officina Pragensis, a private graphic design school run by a well-known Jewish artist, Hugo Steiner-Prag.

    On September 29, 1938, Germany annexed the Sudetenland. On March 15, 1939, Germany invaded Prague and annexed the Bohemia and Moravia provinces of Czechoslovakia, ruled by a Reich Protector. Jews were banned from participation in government, businesses, and organization, including schools. Peter had to leave the Academy, but continued to study at the Officina Pragensis. He also taught at Vinohrady Synagogue. In September 1940, Peter married Ilse Stranska, who was born on May 9, 1915, in Pilsen, to Jewish parents.

    In late September 1941, Reinhard Heydrich, the SS head of RSHA, Reich Main Security Office, became Reich Protector. Soon there were regular deportations of Jews to concentration camps. At the end of November, Theresienstadt concentration and transit camp near Prague got its first shipment of Jewish prisoners. On December 14, Peter was transported to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp. He was assigned to the technical department where he worked as a draftsman and designer alongside other artists, including Bedrich Fritta, Leo Haas, and Jiri Lauscher. On July 16, 1942, Peter’s wife Ilse arrived in the camp. On January 30, 1943, Peter’s parents Leonard and Olga were transported from Bzenec to Terezin. Peter was assigned major projects by the Jewish Council that administered the camp for the Germans, such as the scrip receipts used in place of money in the camp. He secretly documented the inmate’s daily life, creating portraits and other drawings, and wrote plays, poems, and an operatic libretto. On October 16, 1944, Peter’s wife Ilse and his parents Leonard and Olga were selected for deportation. Peter volunteered to go with them. Before leaving, Peter and his family were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. Peter survived the selection process, soon fell ill, likely with typhus, and died at age 25 in late October 1944. His wife and parents were killed at Auschwitz. Some of the work that Peter left with other prisoners or hid at Theresienstadt survived and has been exhibited worldwide.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Exchange Media
    Category
    Money
    Object Type
    Scrip (aat)
    Physical Description
    Theresienstadt 20 kronen scrip printed on rectangular, watermarked, offwhite paper in black and green ink. On the face is a vignette with an image of Moses, a bearded man with a wrinkled brow, holding 2 stone tablets with the 10 Commandments in Hebrew. To the right is the denomination 20 and German text. The background rectangle has a diamond latticework design. On the right side is a wide, offwhite border with 20 in the bottom corner below a Star of David. The reverse has a background rectangle of wavy, interlocked ovals with a central yellow streak, overprinted with German text, an engraved signature, and a scrollwork line. The denomination 20 is in the upper right corner. On the left side is a wide offwhite border with 20 in the bottom corner below a Star of David in a lined circle. The serial number in red ink is in the upper left corner. The series letter in red ink is on the lower right. Scrip has slight corner stains, but appears unused.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 2.625 inches (6.668 cm) | Width: 5.250 inches (13.335 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 Theresienstadt scrip was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1990 by Jaroslav Pistek.
    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 18:29:47
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn522384

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