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Cremona civilian internment scrip, 0.50 lire note, stamped with a Star of David

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.828

Scrip, valued at 0.50 Lire, distributed in Cremona concentration camp in Cremona, Italy. Under German pressure, Italian fascists passed antisemitic legislation in 1938, and later established domestic concentration camps for military and civilian internees. However, the Italian authorities resisted participating in the mass murder and did not permit deportations of Jews from Italy. Although the camps were called Campi Di Concetramento (Concentration Camps) the conditions and treatment of their internees were equivalent to prisoner of war (POW) camps for military and civilians. Prisoners, including Jews, were treated much better than their counterparts in the German camps. Cremona concentration camp was an internment and labor camp that held both POWs and Jewish prisoners. Scrip was issued to Cremona’s prisoners in exchange for outside currency to inhibit escape attempts. The scrip was printed in seven denominations: 0.50, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 Lire. There are two versions of the scrip known today: notes printed on cardstock with a Star of David stamp, and notes printed on paper without a stamp. Expert numismatists disagree on the authenticity of the Star of David stamp version, with one side believing the Star of David stamped scrip was issued to Jewish prisoners in the camp, while the other believes the notes are not genuine. After the war, a Displaced Persons (DP) Camp was established by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in Cremona from 1945-1947. In 1946 an ORT (Obchestvo Remeslenogo Truda, Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades) vocational school was established in the camp. The camp housed between 1,000 and 1,200 refugees, and was one of the largest centers for DPs in Italy. This scrip is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.

issue:  approximately 1942-1945
issue: Cremona (Italy)
Exchange Media
Object Type
Scrip (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:30:45
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