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Weimar Germany Reichsbanknote, 100 million mark

Object | Accession Number: 2003.413.104

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    Weimar Germany Reichsbanknote, 100 million mark


    Brief Narrative
    Reichsbank note, valued at 100 million marks, distributed in Germany from August to November 1923. German efforts to finance World War I sent the nation into debt. Following their defeat, the Treaty of Versailles obligated Germany to pay reparations to several countries, which increased the nation’s financial struggles. The German government attempted to solve this problem by printing more money, which led to severe inflation. The inflation grew to critical levels between 1922 and1923, when the exchange rate of the mark to the United States dollar went from 2,000 marks per dollar to well over a million in a matter of months. The government printed higher and higher denominations, but was unable to keep up with the plunging rates. Germans began using the worthless bills as kindling, wallpaper, and children’s crafts. The emerging National Socialist German Worker’s (Nazi) Party frequently used the bills to their advantage, writing anti-Semitic messages on them, which blamed Jews for Germany’s financial problems. In order to stabilize the economy, the German government established the Rentenbank. The new Minister of Finance, Hans Luther, created the Rentenmark, which was backed by mortgages on all real property in Germany, rather than gold. The Rentenmark was valued at 4.2 marks to one U.S. dollar, and its introduction on November 16, 1923, successfully ended the inflation crisis. Despite this, the Nazi Party continued to use people’s residual economic fears as a propaganda tool to gain power, eventually leading to Adolf Hitler becoming Chancellor in 1933.
    issue:  1923 August 22
    publication/distribution:  1923 August 22-1923 November 16
    issue: Germany.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joel Forman
    face, upper left, printed, black ink : HH-27
    face, upper right of center, printed, red ink : 031615
    face, center, printed, black ink : Reichsbanknote / EINHUNDERT / MILLIONEN MARK / zahlt die Reichsbankhauptkasse in Berlin gegen diese / Banknote dem Einlieferer. Vom 1. Oktober 1923 ab / kann diese Banknote aufgerufen und unter Um- / tausch gegen andere gestezliche Zahlungsmittel ein- / gezogen werden Berlin, den 22. August 1923 / Reichsbankdirektorium / (12 illegible signatures) [Reichsbank note One hundred million mark The Reichsbank’s head office in Berlin pays the consignor against this banknote. From October 1, 1924 this banknote can be summoned and confiscated in exchange for other high-value means of payment. Berlin, August 22, 1923 Reichsbank directorate]
    face, lower left, printed, black ink : Wer Banknoten 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 banknotes or counterfeits or falsifies procures and places them on the market is punished with a term of imprisonment of not less than two years]
    face, left & right of signatures, inside seals, printed, black ink : REICHSBANKDIREKTORIUM [Reichsbank directorate]
    Issuer: Reichsbankdirektorium

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Physical Description
    Reichsbanknote printed in black ink on lightweight, rectangular, cream-colored paper with a geometric star-patterned watermark. On the face, there is a wide margin to the right of a large rectangle with a green and tan geometric backprint and scalloped border. The denomination is printed in decorative, tan font across the rectangle’s center, as part of the backprint, and vertically in the right margin. In the rectangle, German text is printed across the center, and in four, vertically-aligned lines on the lower left. There are 12 signatures centered at the bottom and flanked by the Reichsbankdirektorium seal bearing a left-facing Reichsadler surrounded by German text, on both sides. The serial number is printed in red ink starting in the upper right corner, extending from the rectangle into the margin. The back of the note is blank, and the note is lightly worn around the edges.
    overall: Height: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm) | Width: 5.875 inches (14.923 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 States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Joel Forman.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-30 08:47:49
    This page:

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