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Łódź (Litzmannstadt) ghetto scrip, 50 mark note, given to a US soldier by a refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2004.660.5

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    Łódź (Litzmannstadt) ghetto scrip, 50 mark note, given to a US soldier by a refugee


    Brief Narrative
    50 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
    front, lower left corner and upper right, in black ink : 50
    front, upper left, in red ink : No 034867
    front, upper center, in green ink : Quittung über [Receipt for]
    front, center, in green ink : Fünfzig Mark [Fifty mark]
    front, lower center, in green ink : Der Aelteste der Juden / in Litzmannstadt / M. R[-?] [The Elder of the Jews in Lodz, (illegible signature of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski)]
    front, lower right, in green ink : Litzmannstadt, den 15 Mai 1940 [Lodz, the 15 of May, 1940]
    back, upper left and lower right corners, and upper right, in black ink : 50
    back, upper center, in green ink : Quittung / über [Receipt for]
    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 paper scrip printed in light blue ink with dark blue text. The face has a blue lattice design background with the denomination 50 in the lower left corner and the serial number in red ink is in the upper left corner. The right side has a large rectangle with a background of interlocked 6-pointed Stars of David; within this rectangle, near the right edge, is a vertical band flanked by 3 vertical lines: at the top is the denomination 50 in green with German text within a scroll below; at the bottom is a large Star of David and German text. The reverse has a background of interlocked 6-pointed stars. In the center is a motif with a seven-branched candelabrum in green within a concentric circle design. Large German text is printed in green across the motif, with smaller text in green at the center top and bottom. The numerical denomination 50 is green is in 3 corners: upper left, upper right, lower right. The scrip has areas of discoloration and is worn from use.
    overall: Height: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm) | Width: 6.500 inches (16.51 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 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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