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Weimar Germany Reichsbanknote, 100000 mark

Object | Accession Number: 2003.413.107

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    Weimar Germany Reichsbanknote, 100000 mark


    Brief Narrative
    Reichsbank note, valued at 100,000 marks, distributed in Germany from February to November 1923. The front medallion depicts German artwork, Portrait of the Merchant Georg Gisze, created in 1532, by Hans Holbein der Jüngere. German efforts to finance World War I sent the nation into debt. Following their defeat, the Treaty of Versailles obligated Germany to pay reparations, 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 were 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 February 01
    publication/distribution:  1923 February 01-1923 November 16
    issue: Germany.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joel Forman
    face, lower left & upper right, printed, green ink : E·02611891
    face, above & right of portrait, printed, black ink : Reichsbanknote / Hunderttausend / Mark / zahlt die Reichsbankhaupt- / kasse in Berlin gegen diese / Banknote dem Einlieferer. / Berlin, den 1. Februar 1923 / Reichsbankdirektorium / (12 illegible signatures) [Reichsbank note Hundred thousand mark The Reichsbank’s head office in Berlin pays the consignor against this banknote. Berlin, February 1, 1923 Reichsbank directorate]
    face, left & right of signatures, inside seals, printed, black ink : REICHSBANKDIREKTORIUM [Reichsbank directorate]
    face, lower border, printed, black ink : 100000 Mark
    face, right margin, center, printed, purple ink : 100000
    back, center, printed, red ink : R.B.D / 100000 / Mark
    back, around denomination, printed, red ink : WER BANKNOTEN NACHMACHT ODER VERFÄLSCHT ODER NACHGEMACHTE ODER VERFÄLSCHTE SICH VERSHAFFT UND IN VERKEHR BRINGT, WIRD MIT ZUCHTHAUS NICHT UNTER 2 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]
    back, top of medallion, printed, red ink : Reichsbanknote [Reichsbank note]
    back, bottom of medallion, printed, red ink : Hunderttausend Mark [Hundred thousand mark]
    Issuer: Reichsbankdirektorium

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Physical Description
    Reichsbanknote printed in black ink on lightweight, rectangular, cream-colored paper. On the face, there is a wide margin to the right of a rectangle printed in purple and gray ink with an overlapping, wavy backprint and decorative, scalloped border. The denomination is printed in a rectangular medallion in the center of the rectangle’s bottom border. The serial number is printed in green ink, located in the lower left and upper right corners. Above the left serial number is a circular, framed portrait of a man wearing a flat cap. German text is printed above and to the right of the portrait in fraktur-style font, and there are 12 signatures at lower right flanked by the Reichsbankdirektorium seal bearing a left-facing Reichsadler surrounded by German text, on both sides. A left-facing Reichsadler is printed in a gray ink backprint under the German text. The right margin is light purple with flecks of red and blue throughout and a leaf and flower watermark. Printed in purple ink, within the margin, is a vertical geometric medallion bearing the denomination. On the back, is a wide margin to the left of a rectangle with a purple and gray wavy border, and a wavy, overlapping backprint that fades into a central red and green streak. There is a large medallion across the rectangle with the denomination printed in red ink at the center. German text is printed in red ink above and below the denomination on the medallion’s border, and around the denomination within the medallion. The note is worn and stained overall with a vertical center crease, a small tear at the bottom, and creasing in the lower left corner.
    overall: Height: 4.500 inches (11.43 cm) | Width: 7.500 inches (19.05 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The currency was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Joel Forman.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-30 08:48:08
    This page:

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