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German issued Greek currency, 10,000 Drachmai note

Object | Accession Number: 2003.413.79

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    German issued Greek currency, 10,000 Drachmai note


    Brief Narrative
    German-issued Greek National currency valued at 10,000 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. The reverse has an image of the Treasury of Athens which was built to hold the offerings to the Delphi oracle. 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.
    issue:  1942 December 29
    issue: Greece
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joel Forman
    face, top, printed, black ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ [THE BANK OF GREECE]
    face, right side, printed, black ink : A’ ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ / 10,000 / ΔΕΚΑ ΧΙΛΙΑΔΕΣ / ΠΛΗΡΩΤΕΑΙ ΕΠΙ ΤΗ, ΕΜΦΑΝΙΣΕΙ / ΕΝ ΑΘΗΝΑΙΣ TH, 29H ΔΕΚΕΜΒΡΙΟΥ 1942 / Ο ΔΙΟΙΚΗΤΗΣ / [illegible signature] / ΟΙ ΔΙΕΥΘΥΝΤΑΙ [illegible signature] [TEN THOUSAND / 10,000 DRACHMA /PAYABLE / IN ATHENS DECEMBER 29, 1942 / THE COMMANDER / THE DIRECTOR]
    face, top left corner, printed, black : 10,000 / A’
    face, top center, printed, black : 10,000 / A’
    face, bottom left corner, printed, black : 10,000
    face, bottom right corner, printed, black : 10,000
    reverse, top center, printed black ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ [BANK OF GREECE]
    reverse, bottom center, printed, black ink : ΕΚΔΟΣΙΣ ΤΡΙΤΗ [THIRD ISSUE]
    reverse, center left and right, printed, black ink : 10.000
    reverse, center, within image : ΔΕΛΦΟΙ / ΘΗΣΑΥΡΟΣ ΑΘΗΝΑΙΩΝ [DELPHI / ATHANIAN TREASURY]
    reverse, left and right side, printed, black : 10,000
    reverse, top left corner, printed, black : 10,000
    reverse, top right corner, printed, black : 10,000
    reverse, bottom left corner, printed, black : 10,000
    reverse, bottom right corner, printed, black : 10,000
    Issuer: Trapeza te?s Hellados

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Object Type
    Paper money (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Greek currency printed on lightweight, off-white rectangular paper. The face has a large, centered, rectangular printed area with a black border of interlacing lines with geometric shapes and the numeric denomination in each corner. On the left is an image of a man and woman from the chest up in in left profile. The woman wears a traditional white poukamiso, a black segouni, and a mandili over her hair, and the man wears a poukamiso and a hat. They are both shaded with hatched lines. To the right, inside a frame of black geometric lines, are several lines of text and the numeric denomination in blue. The reverse features a centered image of the Athenian Treasury, a columned stone building on top of a hill among stone ruins and undulating mountains in the background. The entire image is shaded with hatched lines. Flanking the image is the numeric denomination overlaid on layered curved lines, inside a geometric square with stepped sides. The border is made up of small, black geometric shapes and the numeric denomination is in each corner.
    overall: Height: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm) | Width: 6.500 inches (16.51 cm)
    overall : paper, ink
    face, top right, stamped, red ink : AZ 082725

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The collection was donated to the United Sates Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Joel Forman.
    Record last modified:
    2023-09-15 10:15:10
    This page:

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