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Cremona civilian internment scrip, 20 lire note, stamped with a Star of David

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.833

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    Cremona civilian internment scrip, 20 lire note, stamped with a Star of David

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    Brief Narrative
    Scrip, valued at 20 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)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    face, top, black ink : Campo Concentramento per Internati Civili - Cremona / N. 348 [Concentration Camp for Civil Internees]
    face, center, black ink : LIRE 20 / Buono per L. 20
    face, bottom, black ink : Il Comandante il Campo / Vale solo nello Spaccio del Campo [Camp Commander / Good only in Camp outlet
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Object Type
    Scrip (aat)
    Physical Description
    Camp scrip on rectangular, yellow-brown cardstock with Italian text in black ink and the denomination Lire 20 on the left and L. 20 on the right. A Star of David is stamped in the center and a camp seal is stamped over the right denomination. It does not appear circulated.
    overall: Height: 2.750 inches (6.985 cm) | Width: 5.500 inches (13.97 cm)
    overall : cardstock, ink
    face, right stamped, blue ink : CAMPO CONCENTRAMENTO INTERNATI CIVILI

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Cremona (Italy)

    Administrative Notes

    The scrip was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2023-09-15 10:15:25
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