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German Rentenbank, 2 Rentenmark note

Object | Accession Number: 2003.413.96

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    German Rentenbank, 2 Rentenmark note

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    Brief Narrative
    Rentenbank note, valued at 2 Rentenmark, distributed for use in Germany from January 1937 to 1948. The Rentenmark became the national currency in 1923 to address the hyperinflation ruining the German economy following World War I. Before the Rentenmark was introduced, the former national currency, the Papiermark, was valued at 4.2 billion marks to one U.S. dollar, and was backed by gold, which the treasury did not have. In order to stabilize the economy, the German government established the Rentenbank on October 15, 1923, and the new Minister of Finance, Hans Luther, developed a system where the Rentenmark was backed by mortgage on all real property in Germany, rather than gold. The Rentenmark was set at 4.2 marks to one U.S. dollar, and its introduction successfully ended the inflation crisis. The Rentenmark was meant to be temporary and it was officially replaced as the national currency by the Reichsmark in 1924, but both notes remained legal tender. In 1937, the German government utilized the Rentenbank to issue 1 and 2 Rentenmark notes because the Reichsbank did not issue denominations lower than 5 Reichsmarks. Both notes included an image of a sheaf of wheat on the back, the emblem of the Rentenbank. When France, Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union placed Germany under allied occupation in 1945, the Deutsche Mark became the official Germany currency, but the Rentenmark and the Reichsmark both remained in circulation until 1948.
    issue:  1937 January 30
    publication/distribution:  1937 January 30-1945
    issue: Germany.;
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joel Forman
    face, top center, printed, dark red ink : C·71287746
    face, center, printed, dark brown ink : Rentenbankschein / Zwei Rentenmark / Ausgegeben auf Grund der / Verordnung vom 15 Oktober 1923 (R.-G.-Bl.I.5.963) / BERLIN, den 30. Januar 1937. / Deutsche Rentenbank / Präsident und Vorstand: / (five illegible signatures) [Rentenbank bill two Rentenmark Issued on the basis of Ordinance of 15 October 1923 (R.-G.-Bl.I.5.963) Berlin 30 January 1937 German Rentenbank President and Board]
    face, top right margin, printed, dark brown ink : 2
    face, bottom right margin, embossed : seal of the Duetsche Retenbank (text illegible)
    back, upper center, printed, dark brown ink : Deutsche Rentenbank [German Rentenbank]
    back, lower center, printed, dark brown ink : Zwei Rentenmark [Two Rentenmark]
    back, oval medallions, printed, dark brown ink : 2
    back, left edge of rectangle, printed, dark brown ink : Wer Rentenbankscheine nachmacht oder verfälscht oder nachgemachte oder verfälschte / sich verschafft und in Verkehr bringt, wird mit Zuchthaus nicht unter zwei Jahren bestraft [Anyone who imitates or falsifies a banker’s note or falsifies or falsifies procures and places it on the market is punished with a term of imprisonment of not less than two years]
    back, lower left margin , printed, dark brown ink : 2 Rentenmark
    Issuer: Deutsche Rentenbank

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Physical Description
    Rentenmark bank note printed in dark brown ink on lightweight, rectangular, cream-colored paper. On the face is a rectangle with a blue and light brown latticework backprint surrounded by an elaborately decorative border with fan-shaped corner elements and a wide margin to the right. In the center of the rectangle, there is a large, lobed medallion with a geometric backprint and the denomination in the middle. The serial number is printed in dark red ink at top center, above several lines of German text. The denomination is printed in upper right margin, above an embossed, circular bank seal with German text around a wheat sheaf at the bottom. The margin is light red with a slightly visible X pattern and flecks of brown and blue throughout. On the back is a rectangle with an elaborate, wavy border surrounding an overlapping, dark green and brown geometric underprint and a wide margin to the left. In the center of the rectangle, there are three medallions with elaborate, wavy borders: a circular center medallion depicting a wheat sheaf, which is flanked by two oval medallions bearing the denomination. German text is printed above and below the medallions. Two lines of German text are printed vertically to the left of the rectangle. In the lower left margin, the denomination is printed over an embossed seal. The note is worn, creased, and stained overall, particularly around the edges. It is creased, and has a small tear at the left center edge.
    overall: Height: 2.750 inches (6.985 cm) | Width: 4.875 inches (12.383 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Personal Name
    Luther, Hans, 1879-1962.

    Administrative Notes

    The currency was donated to the United Sates Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Joel Forman.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-12 10:56:28
    This page:

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