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German issued Greek currency, 10 billon Drachmai note

Object | Accession Number: 2003.413.81

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    German issued Greek currency, 10 billon Drachmai note

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    German-issued Greek National currency valued at 10 billion 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 image of Arethusa, a nymph who was loved by the water god Alpheus and changed into a spring by the goddess Artemis. 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 20
    Geography
    issue: Greece
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joel Forman
    Markings
    face, top left corner, printed, black ink : A
    face, top right, printed, black : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ [BANK OF GREECE]
    face, center right, printed, black ink : ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ / 10 / ΔΕΚΑ ΔΙΣΕΚΑΤΟΜΜΥΡΙΑ / Ο ΔΙΟΙΚΗΤΗΣ ΠΛΗΡΩΤΕΑΙ ΕΠΙ ΤΗ, ΕΜΦΑΝΙΣΕΙ ΟΙ ΔΙΕΥΘΥΝΤΑΙ / ΕΝ ΑΘΗΝΑΙΣ ΤΗ, 20Η ΟΚΤΩΒΡΙΟΥ 1944 / [illegible signatures] [DRACHMAI / 10 / TEN BILLION / PAYABLE / IN ATHENS THE ADMINISTER, THE DIRECTOR / OCTOBER 20, 1944]
    reverse, center, printed, blue ink : 10 / 10 / 10
    reverse, center, overlaid printed, blue ink : ΔΙΣΕΚΑΤΟΜΜΥΡΙΑ [TWO MILLION]
    reverse center, top printed, blue ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ [BANK OF GREECE]
    reverse, center, bottom, printed, blue ink : ΕΚΔΟΣΙΣ ΠΡΩΤΗ [FIRST PUBLICATION]
    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, light green, light orange, and black rectangle with a border of small, undulating lines. On the left is an image of a dekadrachm of Syracuse, a coin depicting a bust of Arethusa in left profile, and three small dolphins circling her head. Behind the coin is a black, rectangular background with a trellis interior. To the right are several lines of black Greek text and the numeric denomination. The serial number is stamped in black ink in the upper right corner. The reverse has a large, centered, light blue rectangle with a scrollwork pattern and a scalloped edge. In the center the denomination is overlaid on a scrollwork design. Flanking the center are two rectangular shapes with the denomination inside, overlaid on a scrollwork background with a border of sinuous vines and flowers. Above and below the center are small banners with dark blue Greek text.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 2.375 inches (6.033 cm) | Width: 5.500 inches (13.97 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink
    Inscription
    face, top right, stamped, black ink : KE 255697

    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 14:01:43
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn524913

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