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German issued Greek currency, 1,000 Drachmai note

Object | Accession Number: 2003.413.80

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    German issued Greek currency, 1,000 Drachmai note


    Brief Narrative
    German-issued Greek National currency valued at 1,000 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 ancient coin with a profile image of Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia and a Greek hero. The reverse has an image of one of the Edessa waterfalls, one of the most renowned waterfalls in Greece. 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.
    1941 October 01
    issue: Greece
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joel Forman
    face, right side, printed, blue ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ / 1000 / ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ ΧΙΛΙΑΙ / ΠΛΗΡΩΤΕΑΙ ΕΠΙ ΤΗ, ΕΜΦΑΝΙΣΕΙ / ΕΝ ΑΘΗΝΑΙΣ TH,1H ΟΚΤΩΒΡΙΟΥ 1941 / Ο ΔΙΟΙΚΗΤΗΣ / [illegible signature] / ΟΙ ΔΙΕΥΘΥΝΤΑΙ [illegible signature] [THE BANK OF GREECE / 10,000 DRACHMA /PAYABLE IN ATHENS October 1, 1941 / THE ADMINISTRATOR / HEAD]
    face, left side, within image, printed, black ink : ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΩ [Alexander]
    face, top left corner, printed, blue ink : 1000
    face, top right corner, printed, blue ink : 1000
    face, bottom left corner, printed, blue ink : 1000
    face, bottom right corner, printed, blue ink : 1000
    reverse, top, printed blue ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ [THE BANK OF GREECE]
    reverse, bottom, printed, blue ink : ΕΚΔΟΣΙΣ ΤΡΙΤΗ [THIRD ISSUE]
    reverse, bottom, within image, printed, blue ink : ΚΑΤΑΡΡΑΚΤΑΙ ΕΔΕΣΣΗΣ [EDESSA WATERFALLS]
    reverse, left and right sides, printed, blue ink : 1000
    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, light blue and yellow, rectangular printed area with an ornate, decorative border with the numeric denomination in the corners. On the left side is an image of a coin featuring a bust of Alexander the Great in left profile. The coin is overlaid on an oval background of sinuous lines. To the right are lines of Greek text printed in black with the numeric denomination in the center. The yellow background is comprised of rows of the numeric denomination and geometric shapes, with a blue scrollwork design along the bottom. The reverse has a centered image of a waterfall from Edessa Falls. In the image, a stream of water is rushing down a steep slope lined with trees. Two women in hats and dresses, stand at the base of the slope near the water. The image is flanked by the numeric denomination overlaid on a fibrous, sinuous background which is over on a scrollwork design. The background is comprised of blue and yellow geometric shapes, and is surrounded by a border with Greek text above and below.
    overall: Height: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm) | Width: 6.625 inches (16.828 cm)
    overall : paper, ink
    face, bottom, stamped, red ink : 059142 ΛΣ

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Edessa (Greece) Greece

    Administrative Notes

    The collection was donated to the United Sates Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Joel Forman.
    Record last modified:
    2023-07-06 14:01:35
    This page:

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