Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp scrip, 100 kronen note, belonging to a German Jewish inmate

Object | Accession Number: 2016.496.10

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp scrip, 100 kronen note, belonging to a German Jewish inmate


    Brief Narrative
    Scrip, valued at 100 kronen, distributed to Heinz Frankenstein (later Henry Frank) in Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia between January 1943 and May 1945. At Theresienstadt, currency was confiscated from inmates and replaced with scrip, which could only be used in the camp. The scrip was part of an elaborate illusion to make the camp seem normal and appear as though workers were being paid for their labor, but the money had no real monetary value. Heinz, his mother, and two of his sisters were deported from Berlin to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in June 1942. In 1943, Heinz was among 250 young men deported to Wulkow near Berlin for a work detail. After a year, Heinz returned to the ghetto to find that his mother and sisters were gone; all but one of his sisters was deported to and killed at Auschwitz. Heinz was then deported to a camp near the town of Hof in Germany for a month, before being force marched back to Theresienstadt. He reunited with his sister, Inge, and they were liberated by the Soviet army on May 9. Heinz and Inge went to Deggendorf displaced persons (DP) camp in the American-occupied zone of Germany in June 1945. Heinz immigrated to the United States in June 1946, and changed his name to Henry Frank. Henry belonged to a social circle with other Holocaust survivors, including Irene Silberstein, who he married in April 1948. They had two children and regularly gave talks about their experiences during the Holocaust.
    issue:  1943 January 01
    use:  1943 January 01-1945 May 09
    issue: Theresienstadt (Concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Irene Frank
    face, lower right corner, printed, black ink : 100
    reverse, upper left, serial number, printed, red ink : 008801
    reverse, lower right, series letter, printed, red ink : G
    reverse, upper right and lower left corners, printed, brown ink : 100
    reverse, center, printed, black and brown ink : Quittung / über / HUNDERT / KRONEN / THERESIENSTADT, AM 1.JÄNNER 1943 DER ALTESTE DER JUDEN / IN THERESIENSTADT / Jakob Edelstein [RECEIPT OF / HUNDRED CROWNS / [THERESIENSTADT, ON 1. JANUARY 1943, THE ELDER OF THE JEWS IN THERESIENSTADT / Jakob Edelstein]
    Subject: Henry Frank
    Designer: Peter Kien
    Printer: National Bank of Prague
    Issuer: Der Alteste der Juden in Theresienstadt
    Henry Frank (1918-2002) was born Heinz Frankenstein in Berlin, Germany to Jakob (1888-1942) and Anna (nee Zydower, 1891-1944) Frankenstein. Heinz had four sisters: Dorothea (later Jastrow, 1914-1977), Irene (later Gratz, 1915-1944), Gerda (later Anschel, 1916-1942), and Inge (1925-1997). Jakob was injured fighting for Germany in World War I. He earned the Iron Cross for his service, but illness combined with his injuries made it difficult for him to work afterwards. As a result, the family was poor, and Anna had to work cleaning graves in a Jewish cemetery. As a child, Heinz was artistic and played the accordion and violin. The family was not very religious, but celebrated the major Jewish holidays. They lived in a mixed-religion neighborhood, and had many Gentile friends. Heinz always identified more strongly as German than Jewish, and never experienced antisemitism until 1933.

    On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Anti-Jewish decrees were passed that restricted every aspect of Jewish life. Heinz was forced to leave his public school, and he and his sisters began working to help support the family. He worked carrying coal in his neighborhood and later in a war supplies factory. In September 1939, in accordance with the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact, Germany and Russia invaded Poland. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Heinz’s sister, Dorothea, her husband, and two children had fled for England earlier that summer, but the rest of the family were unable to leave Berlin. In April 1942, Gerda and her family were deported to the Warsaw Ghetto, and then to the Baltic region, where they were killed. Following the assassination attempt on General Reinhard Heydrich in Prague on May 27, 1942, Jakob was among 50 Jewish men who were rounded up in Berlin by the Gestapo. Jakob and the other men were transported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, lined up against a brick wall, and shot. Within the week, unaware of their father’s fate, Heinz, Inge, Irene, and Anna were deported to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. Heinz was assigned to work as a men’s nurse in the ghetto hospital, and helped take care of patients’ daily needs. He was later transferred to work at a mental institution.

    In 1944, Heinz was among a group of young men deported to Wulkow near Berlin to build barracks for the Gestapo. They were beaten by the SS and promised that their good behavior would save their relatives in Theresienstadt from transport to the East. Irene had gotten sick and was deported to Auschwitz in October 1944. Anna volunteered to go along with her. A few days later, Inge was given permission to follow her mother, but by the time she arrived, Anna and Irene had been killed in the gas chambers. On October 27, Inge was deported to Oederan, a subcamp of Flossenbürg, where she was a forced laborer in a munitions factory. After a year in Wulkow, Heinz returned to Theresienstadt to find that his mother and sisters were gone.

    After four weeks in Theresienstadt, Heinz was deported to a camp near the town of Hof in Germany, where he renovated housing. After a month, Heinz and a group of nearly 200 prisoners were force-marched six days and nights back to Theresienstadt. Many people died on the march, but the group arrived on April 20, 1945. There, Heinz reunited with his sister, Inge—whose shaved head and dirty appearance made her unrecognizable—the following day. She was transported there following the evacuation of Oederan on April 14. Theresienstadt was liberated by the Soviet army on May 9, but a Typhus epidemic prevented Heinz and Inge from leaving immediately after liberation. Once he could leave, Heinz traveled to Berlin to find his mother, unaware she had died in Auschwitz. He returned to his sister in Theresienstadt, and they were picked up by the American army and taken to Deggendorf displaced persons (DP) camp. On the way, the trucks were involved in an accident, leaving Heinz with broken ribs and a short hospital stay.

    Heinz and Inge arrived at Deggendorf in June 1945, and stayed there until June 1946, when he immigrated to the United States. After arriving in New York City, the American Joint Distribution Committee put the refugees up in the Hotel Marseilles, and Heinz changed his name to Henry Frank. He could not speak English at first, but got a job working as a machinist at a factory in White Plains, a short distance from the city. He later got a job working in wholesale meat distribution. While living in New York, Henry belonged to a social circle with other Holocaust survivors. Every couple of weeks they would go to the piers to meet the arriving ships, and every Sunday they would go to Coney Island. Among this circle was Irene Silberstein (b. 1927), who he had met briefly while in Deggendorf. Henry and Irene married in April 1948, went on to have two children, and moved to New Jersey. They regularly visited local schools and gave talks about their experiences during the Holocaust.

    Inge remained in Deggendorf until September 1946, when she immigrated to England. She then joined her sister, Dorothea, who lived on a small farm in Scotland with her husband and children. Inge immigrated to the United States in November 1949. Later, Dorothea and her family also came to the United States.
    Franz Peter Kien was born January 1, 1919, in Varnsdorf, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), to Leonard and Olga Frankl Kien. His father Leonard was born in 1886, in Varnsdorf, and was a member of the German-speaking Jewish population in the, the Sudetenalnd, which bordered Germany. Leonard was a textile manufacturer with his own factory. Peter’s mother Olga was born in 1898, in Bzenec, Austro-Hungary (Czech Republic), to Jewish parents. After 1929, the Kien family moved to Brno. Peter enrolled at the German Gymnasium, where he excelled at drawing, painting, and writing. In 1936, he graduated and moved to Prague to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. He also attended the Officina Pragensis, a private graphic design school run by a well-known Jewish artist, Hugo Steiner-Prag.

    On September 29, 1938, Germany annexed the Sudetenland. On March 15, 1939, Germany invaded Prague and annexed the Bohemia and Moravia provinces of Czechoslovakia, ruled by a Reich Protector. Jews were banned from participation in government, businesses, and organization, including schools. Peter had to leave the Academy, but continued to study at the Officina Pragensis. He also taught at Vinohrady Synagogue. In September 1940, Peter married Ilse Stranska, who was born on May 9, 1915, in Pilsen, to Jewish parents.

    In late September 1941, Reinhard Heydrich, the SS head of RSHA, Reich Main Security Office, became Reich Protector. Soon there were regular deportations of Jews to concentration camps. At the end of November, Theresienstadt concentration and transit camp near Prague got its first shipment of Jewish prisoners. On December 14, Peter was transported to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp. He was assigned to the technical department where he worked as a draftsman and designer alongside other artists, including Bedrich Fritta, Leo Haas, and Jiri Lauscher. On July 16, 1942, Peter’s wife Ilse arrived in the camp. On January 30, 1943, Peter’s parents Leonard and Olga were transported from Bzenec to Terezin. Peter was assigned major projects by the Jewish Council that administered the camp for the Germans, such as the scrip receipts used in place of money in the camp. He secretly documented the inmate’s daily life, creating portraits and other drawings, and wrote plays, poems, and an operatic libretto. On October 16, 1944, Peter’s wife Ilse and his parents Leonard and Olga were selected for deportation. Peter volunteered to go with them. Before leaving, Peter and his family were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. Peter survived the selection process, soon fell ill, likely with typhus, and died at age 25 in late October 1944. His wife and parents were killed at Auschwitz. Some of the work that Peter left with other prisoners or hid at Theresienstadt survived and has been exhibited worldwide.

    Physical Details

    German Hebrew
    Exchange Media
    Object Type
    Scrip (aat)
    Physical Description
    Theresienstadt scrip printed on rectangular, off-white paper in light brown and black ink. The paper contains a watermark in the form of a repeating geometric pattern. On the face is a rectangle with geometric patterning and a wide, off-white margin to the right. On the left, within the rectangle, is a vignette with an image of Moses holding 2 stone tablets inscribed with the 10 Commandments in Hebrew. To his right, is the denomination centered between lines of German text. In the lower right corner is a Star of David with the denomination below. The reverse has a rectangle with geometric patterning and a wide, off-white margin to the left. Within the rectangle is a medallion, German text above and below a scrollwork line, the denomination on the upper right, and signature on the lower right. In the lower left corner is the denomination below a Star of David in a striped circle. The serial number in the upper left corner and the series letter on the lower right are both in red ink. The paper is very worn with light brown staining throughout and folded corners. There is a heavy vertical crease at the center with small losses at the top and bottom, and along each of the edges.
    overall: Height: 3.000 inches (7.62 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

    Administrative Notes

    The scrip was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by Irene Frank.
    Record last modified:
    2023-09-22 10:47:43
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us