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German issued Greek currency, 25 million Drachmai note

Object | Accession Number: 2003.413.83

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    German issued Greek currency, 25 million Drachmai note


    Brief Narrative
    German-issued Greek National currency valued at 25 million 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 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:  1944 August 10
    issue: Greece
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joel Forman
    face, top, printed, black ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ [BANK OF GREECE]
    face, center, printed, black ink : ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ / 25 / ΕΙΚΟΣΙ ΠΕΝΤΕ ΕΚΑΤΟΜΜΥΡΙΑ / ΠΛΗΡΩΤΕΑΙ ΕΠΙ ΤΗ, ΕΜΦΑΝΙΣΕΙ / ΕΝ ΑΘΗΝΑΙΣ TH 10H ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΟΥ 1944 / Ο ΔΙΟΙΚΗΤΗΣ / [illegible signature] / Ο ΔΙΕΥΘΥΝΤΗΣ / [illegible signature] [DRACHMAI / 25 / MILLION / IS PAYABLE ON DEMAND / IN ATHENS, AUGUST 10, 1944 / THE COMMANDER / THE DIRECTOR]
    reverse, top, printed, green ink : ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ [BANK OF GREECE]
    reverse, center, printed, green ink : 25 / 25 / 25
    reverse, center, overprinted, green ink : ΕΚΑΤΟΜΜΥΡΙΑ [MILLION]
    reverse, bottom, printed, green ink : ΕΚΔΟΣΙΣ ΠΡΩΤΗ [FIRST PUBLICATION]
    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, green latticework background with a smaller, centered, black rectangular boarder comprised of sinuous lines. Overlaid on the boarder on each side 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. In the center and overprinted on a dark green scrollwork pattern, is the stamped serial number in red ink. In addition, several lines of black Greek text and the numeric denomination, are flanked by a black scrollwork pattern. The numeric denomination is in green in each corner, overlaid on a scrollwork design. The reverse has a large, centered, light green 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 black 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 black Greek text.
    overall: Height: 2.375 inches (6.033 cm) | Width: 5.500 inches (13.97 cm)
    overall : paper, ink
    face, top, stamped, red ink : 774039 ΕΣ

    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:
    2023-07-06 14:02:34
    This page:

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