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Łódź (Litzmannstadt) ghetto scrip, 5 mark note, given to a US soldier by a refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2004.660.2

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    Łódź (Litzmannstadt) ghetto scrip, 5 mark note, given to a US soldier by a refugee


    Brief Narrative
    5 mark note receipt from the Łódź ghetto, one of 5 pieces of scrip given to Igor Belousovitch, a US soldier, in early April 1945 by a refugee walking west on the same road Igor's unit was taking east across Germany near Leipzig. As Igor was looking at the line of refugees, one looked over at him and they made eye contact. The man, emaciated and dressed in rags, walked over to Igor, reached in his pocket, pulled out several bills, and gave them to Igor. They exchanged a few words and then both continued on their way. The scrip was created in the Łódź ghetto, renamed Litzmannstadt, in German occupied Poland beginning in May 1940. When the Germans incarcerated Jews in the ghetto, they confiscated all currency in exchange for Quittungen [receipts] that could be spent only inside the ghetto. The scrip, designed by the Judenrat [Jewish Council], is decorated with traditional Jewish symbols. Igor, age 21, enlisted in the US Army in 1943. He was assigned to the 273rd Regiment, 69th Infantry Division. Igor, a native Russian speaker, was the translator at the historic April 25, 1945, meeting of American and Soviet forces at the Elbe River in Germany where they celebrated their successful efforts to destroy Fascism in Europe.
    publication/distribution:  1940 May 15
    received:  1945 April
    issue: Litzmannstadt-Getto (Łódź, Poland); Łódź (Poland)
    received: Leipzig (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Igor Belousovitch and Rhoda Honigberg
    face, upper right corner, printed, black ink : 5
    face lower left corner, printed black and orange ink : 5
    face, rectangle upper left corner, printed, black ink : Quittung / über [Receipt for]
    face, center, printed, black and orange ink : Fünf Mark [Five Marks]
    face, bottom, printed, black ink : Der Aelteste der Juden / in Litzmannstadt / M. Rumkowski / Litzmannstadt, den 15 Mai 1940 [Receipt for five marks / The Elder of the Jews in Litzmannstadt M. Rumkowski / Litzmannstadt, 15 May 1940]
    reverse, upper left corner, printed black ink : Quittung über / Fünf Mark [Reciept for five marks]
    reverse, bottom, printed, black ink : WER DIESE QUITTUNG VERFÄLSCHT ODER NACHMACHT ODER GEFÄLSCHTE / QUITTUNGEN IN VERKEHR BRINGT / WIRD STRENGSTENS BESTRAFT [Anyone who falsifies or copies this receipt, or traffics in counterfeit receipts, will be strictly punished]
    reverse, lower right, printed, black and orange ink : 5
    Subject: Igor Belousovitch
    Igor Belousovitch was born in April 1922 in Shanghai, China, to Nadejda (Nadine) (1894-1983) and Nicholas Belousovitch (1891-1956), both born in Russia. His father was an aviator and had been a White Russian Army officer. He fled Russia to Shanghai following the Communist revolution, civil war, and the founding of the Soviet Socialist Republic. The family immigrated to the United States in July 1923 and settled in San Francisco. In 1941, Belousovitch enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley. That December, the United States entered World War ll. Belousovitch enlisted in the US Army in 1943. He was assigned to the 273rd Regiment, 69th Infantry Division. The Fighting 69th went into the front lines in Europe on February 11, 1945, and, with other American and British troops, soon smashed through the Siegfried Line defenses into Germany. Under the command of Major General Emil F. Reinhardt, the unit met the Soviet 58th Guards under General Rusakov on April 25, 1945, at the Elbe River in Germany. Belousovitch’s fluent Russian made him the official translator at the historic meeting. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service.

    After leaving the army, Belousovitch completed his education in Russian and Eastern European studies. He later studied at Georgetown University. He married Marie (1923-2002) and had a daughter. He had a distinguished career as a top Kremlinologist in the US Department of State, Office of Analysis for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe from 1956 until his retirement in 1991. He worked on special projects with the US military and was stationed at the US embassy in Moscow for many years. Every April since 1995, Belousovitch has attended an annual ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony at the invitation of the Russian Embassy “In tribute to the partnership in the great battle against tyranny.”

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Object Type
    Scrip (aat)
    Physical Description
    Offwhite rectangular paper scrip. The face has a watermark with a latticework pattern in green ink. The serial number in orange ink is in the upper left corner. The denomination 5 is in the lower left corner in bold font and in the upper right in a black square. There is a 1.75 inch left margin, then a rectangle with a curved upper left corner with a background of interlocked 6-pointed Stars of David with a large Star of David in a circle in the upper left corner in brown ink. Across the center is the textual denomination in black ink with brown highlights and German text. The back has a blank 1.75 inch margin, then a rectangle with a pattern of interlocked Stars of David in brown ink. There is German text in the upper left corner and a 7-branched candelabrum in the lower left corner. The denomination 5 in bold font, black and brown ink, is outside the border at the lower left corner; above this, near the upper right corner, is a Star of David outline in a black square. The scrip has areas of discoloration and is worn from use.
    overall: Height: 2.875 inches (7.303 cm) | Width: 5.125 inches (13.018 cm)
    overall : paper, ink
    face, upper left corner, stamped, red ink : No 361645

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The scrip was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Igor Belousovitch and Rhoda Honigberg.
    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:
    2023-08-25 17:19:26
    This page:

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