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German issued Greek currency, 5,000 Drachmai note

Object | Accession Number: 2003.413.77

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    German issued Greek currency, 5,000 Drachmai note

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    German-issued Greek National currency valued at 5,000 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 an image of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, a marble statue of Nike, the goddess of victory, discovered on the island of Samothrace on April 15, 1863. 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:  1942 June 20
    Geography
    issue: Greece
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joel Forman
    Markings
    face, top, printed, light red ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ [THE BANK OF GREECE]
    face, left, printed, black ink : ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ / ΠΕΝΤΕ / ΧΙΛΙΑΔΕΣ / ΠΛΗΡΩΤΕΑΙ ΕΠΙ ΤΗ, ΕΜΦΑΝΙΣΕΙ / Ο ΔΙΟΙΚΗΤΗΣ [illegible signature] FIVE / THOUSAND DRACHMA / IS PAYABLE ON DEMAND / THE COMMANDER
    face, right, printed, black ink : ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ / ΠΕΝΤΕ / ΧΙΛΙΑΔΕΣ / ΕΝ ΑΘΗΝΑΙΣ ΤΗ, 20H ΙΟΥΝΙΟΥ 1942 / ΟΙ ΔΙΕΥΘΥΝΤΑΙ / [illegible signature] [FIVE THOUSAND DRACHMA / IS PAYABLE ON DEMAND IN ATHENS / JUNE 20 1942 / THE DIRECTOR]
    face, top left corner, printed, black ink : B’ / 5000
    face, top right corner, printed, black ink : B’ / 5000
    face, bottom left corner, printed, black ink : 5000
    face, bottom right corner, printed, black ink : 5000
    face, throughout background, printed, red ink : 5000 [repeating]
    reverse, top, printed, brown ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ [THE BANK OF GREECE]
    reverse, bottom, printed, brown ink : ΕΚΔΟΣΙΣ ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑ [SECOND EDITION]
    reverse, bottom left, printed light blue ink : 5000
    reverse, bottom right, printed light blue ink : 5000
    reverse, top left corner, printed, brown ink :5000
    reverse, top right corner, printed, brown ink : 5000
    reverse, bottom left corner, printed, brown ink : 5000
    reverse, bottom right corner, printed, brown ink : 5000
    reverse, throughout background, printed, light blue ink : 5000 [repeating]
    reverse, inside border, printed, brown : 5000 [repeating]
    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 within a scalloped yellow and blue border of sinuous lines. Inside is a black border comprised of a floral pattern and vines of grapes and the numeric denomination in each corner. In the center is an image of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, a headless, armless, off-white statue of a female figure with large wings. The statue is flanked by two darkly shaded farmers; one looking right and holding a pitchfork, and the other looking left and holding a shovel. In the lower left is a skyline of industrial buildings, and in the lower right is a scene of a man pulling in a fishing net with several boats behind him. In the upper left and right corners, several lines of black Greek text are overprinted on the numeric denomination in red and yellow. Above the upper right corner is the serial number in red ink. The background consists of repeating rows of the numeric denomination in red, overlaid with blue interlacing. The reverse features an image of a man striding a plowed farm field, carrying a white bag of seeds. Behind him, two horses are pulling a plow guided by a farmer. They are all in a plowed farm field with undulating hills behind them. In the lower corners is the numeric denomination surrounded by grapes and other foliage. The entire image has a yellow and blue scrollwork border with the numeric denomination in each corner. The edges are slightly discolored, and the corners have slight edge damage.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 3.125 inches (7.938 cm) | Width: 6.375 inches (16.192 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink
    Inscription
    face, top, left, stamped, red ink : AH 468200

    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 14:01:21
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn524909

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