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German issued Greek currency, 50 Drachmai note

Object | Accession Number: 2003.413.76

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    German issued Greek currency, 50 Drachmai note
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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    German-issued Greek National currency valued at 50 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 and history. Featured on this note is a coin with the images of the king and queen of the Olympian gods, Zeus and Hera, and the Cretan Bull, which was captured by Heracles. On the opposite side is an image of a woman from Paramithia in traditional dress. 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 Greeks 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 of Greeks died from lack of food during the German occupation.
    Date
    issue:  1943 February 01
    Geography
    issue: Greece
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joel Forman
    Markings
    face, right side, printed, black ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ / 50 / ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ ΠΕΝΤΗΚΟΝΤΑ / ΠΛΗΡΩΤΕΑΙ ΕΠΙ ΤΗ, ΕΜΦΑΝΙΣΕΙ / ΕΝ ΑΘΗΝΑΙΣ ΤΗ, 1Η ΦΕΒΡΟΥΑΡΙΟΥ 1943 / Ο ΔΙΟΙΚΗΤΗΣ ΟΙ ΔΙΕΥΘΥΝΤΑΙ / [illegible signatures] [BANK OF GREECE / 50 / DRACHMA / IS PAYABLE ON DEMAND / IN ATHENS, February 1, 1943 / THE COMMANDER / THE DIRECTOR / illegible signatures]
    face, top left corner, printed, black ink :50 / Γ ΄
    face, top right corner, printed, black ink : 50 / Γ ΄
    face, bottom left corner, printed, black ink : 50
    face, bottom right corner, printed, black ink : 50
    face, throughout background, printed, green ink : 50 [repeating]
    reverse, top center, printed black ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ [BANK OF GREECE]
    reverse, center, printed, black ink : ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ / 50 / ΠΕΝΤΗΚΟΝΤΑ [50 / DRACHMA]
    reverse, bottom center, printed, black ink : ΕΚΔΟΣΙΣ ΤΡΙΤΗ [THIRD ISSUE]
    reverse, right side, within image, printed, pink ink : ΑΠΕΙ / ΡΩΤΑΝ [follow / ask]
    reverse, top left corner, printed, black ink :50 / Γ ΄
    reverse, top right corner, printed, black ink : 50 / Γ ΄
    reverse, bottom left corner, printed, black ink : 50
    reverse, bottom right corner, printed, black ink : 50
    Contributor
    Issuer: Trapeza te?s Hellados

    Physical Details

    Language
    Greek
    Classification
    Exchange Media
    Category
    Money
    Object Type
    Paper money (lcsh)
    Genre/Form
    Money.
    Physical Description
    Greek currency printed on lightweight, off-white rectangular paper. The face has a large, centered, rectangular printed area with a black border and a pattern of interlacing lines, and the denomination in each corner. On the left is a portrait image of a woman wearing a traditional white poukamiso, a black embroidered segouni, and a mandili over her hair. The image is inside an oblong frame with a scrollwork line along the inside edge. To the right are several lines of black Greek text with the numeric denomination in the center. The text is overlaid on an ornate, yellow border with spirographic white lines. Above the denomination, stamped in red ink, is the serial number. The background of the printed area is comprised of small, geometric shapes with the denomination repeating throughout. The reverse is printed in green and brown, and has a rectangular, centered, latticework background with a border comprised of scrollwork lines, a scalloped outer edge and the numeric denomination in each corner. The center has two lines of Greek text and the denomination in the center. The text is overlaid on a quatrefoil background with spirographic white lines throughout. Flanking the center are two coins, the left has two faces, likely Zeus and Hera, in right profile. The right coin has an image of a butting bull, possibly the Cretan Bull, within an oak wreath.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 2.375 inches (6.033 cm) | Width: 4.750 inches (12.065 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink
    Inscription
    face, top, stamped, red ink : AΓ 166088

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Greece.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The collection was donated to the United Sates Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Joel Forman.
    Record last modified:
    2023-07-06 14:01:53
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn524908

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