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German issued Greek currency, 500 million Drachmai note

Object | Accession Number: 2003.413.73

German-issued Greek National currency valued at 500 million Drachmai. The Greek currency, called Drachma, can be traced back to the 6th century BC. The currency was discontinued after the Roman conquest of Greece, and reissued after Greece gained independence from the Ottoman Empire. Many of the Greek notes featured figures and images from Greek Mythology. Featured on this note is Apollo, the god of music, poetry, and art among many other things. The reverse features an image from The Parthenon Frieze. On October 28, 1940, Italy invaded Greece, but they were repelled by the Greek forces. On April 6, 1941, Germany invaded Greece to support Italy and forced the Grecians to surrender by the end of the month. Germany, Italy, and Bulgaria collectively occupied Greece until Italy’s surrender to the Allies in September 1943. Then Germany occupied all of Greece, and forced the Greek government to pay for the occupation by printing more paper money with higher denominations. The excess Drachmai caused hyperinflation, and the price for goods and services rose dramatically. During the occupation, the price of corn was 9 million Drachmai per pound. The essentially worthless paper bills gave way to bartering of supplies such as olive oil, cigarettes, and wheat. Due to the invasion and the harsh economic policies, hundreds of thousands Grecians died from lack of food during the German occupation.

Date
issue:  1944 October 01
Geography
issue: Greece
Language
Greek
Classification
Exchange Media
Category
Money
Object Type
Paper money (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Money.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joel Forman
 
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:30:05
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn524905