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Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp scrip, 1 krone note, belonging to an Austrian Jewish woman

Object | Accession Number: 2018.102.4

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    Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp scrip, 1 krone note, belonging to an Austrian Jewish woman


    Brief Narrative
    Scrip, valued at 1 krone, distributed in Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto-labor camp, obtained by inmate Lucie Fried (Steinhagen). 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. Lucie was deported to Theresienstadt from Vienna, Austria in August 1942, accompanied by her mother, Fanny Fried, and her grandmother, Jeanette Weiss. Lucie had a job in the Jewish-run record office at Theresienstadt, which she credited as the reason she and her mother were never assigned to a transport out, and helped to get her grandmother off of the transport she was assigned to. Jeannette died after about five months, but Lucie and Fanny lived in Theresienstadt for three years until the Soviet Army liberated the camp on May 9, 1945. They eventually re-located to the Deggendorf displaced persons camp, where Lucie met Gerhard Steinhagen, a refugee from Berlin who had also been imprisoned at Theresienstadt in June 1942. The two would eventually marry in New York in 1947.
    issue:  after 1943 May-before 1945 May 09
    publication:  1943 January 01
    issue: Theresienstadt (Concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lucie Steinhagen
    face, lower right corner, printed, green ink : 1
    reverse, upper left corner, plate letter and number, printed, green ink : A039
    reverse, upper right and lower left corners, printed, green ink : 1
    Subject: Lucie Steinhagen
    Designer: Peter Kien
    Printer: National Bank of Prague
    Issuer: Der Alteste der Juden in Theresienstadt
    Lucie Steinhagen (nee Fried) was born in 1921 in Vienna, Austria. The daughter of Moritz Fried (c. 1880-1930) and Fanny Weiss (c. 1883-1961, born in Poland), she was the youngest of four children: She had a sister, Hedy (later Ringel, 1911-2007), a brother, Arthur (1918-1992), and another brother who died in Vienna at the age of four. Due to the age gap, Lucie was not very close with Hedy, but was close with her brother and cousins who were around the same age. While Fanny came from a religious home, Moritz did not; as a result they were moderate in their religious practices, going to synagogue on holidays. Moritz owned a retail store in Vienna. They lived a comfortable middle-class life until Moritz died in 1930 when Lucie was about 9 years old. Fanny continued to run the store after his death, but life became increasingly difficult for the family. Prior to the war, Lucie had an active social life, and went to school with Jewish and non-Jewish children alike. Due to Fanny’s strong religious background, she instilled in Lucie a sense of pride in being Jewish.

    On March 13, 1938, Austria was annexed into Germany, in what became known as the "Anschluss." The Germans quickly introduced anti-Jewish legislation and confiscated Jewish-owned businesses and property. Prior to that time, Lucie had no awareness or understanding of the events happening outside of Vienna, but shortly before turning seventeen, she had to leave her public school and never completed her education. Shortly thereafter, someone walked into the Frieds’ store, asked Fanny for the keys and told her to walk out. The family lost their means of support, requiring Fanny to move in with her mother and Lucie to move in with her aunt and three cousins nearby.

    After Kristallnacht in November 1938, 6,000 Jewish men in Vienna were arrested (including Lucie’s brother, uncles, and cousin) and sent to the Dachau concentration camp. Most of the men in the Dachau concentration camp were released if they could provide proof of plans to emigrate from Germany; Lucie’s brother, Arthur, was imprisoned there for about three weeks before his release in late December. Shortly thereafter, Lucie and her siblings received affidavits to immigrate from their aunts who were living in the United States. Hedy left with her family in October 1938 and Arthur went shortly thereafter. The United States had a quota on Polish immigrants which prevented Fanny, who was born in Poland, from obtaining a visa. Lucie stayed with her mother for a few years before she too planned to emigrate. Despite having booked a ticket to America, the outbreak of war in Austria prevented her from getting to her departure point In Italy.
    In lieu of attending school, Lucie began volunteering with Vienna’s Jewish community center, planting vegetables to benefit the old age and children’s’ homes in an empty section of a Jewish cemetery. Lucie, Fanny, and her grandmother (Jeanette Weiss) were forcibly deported in August 1942 and sent to the Theresienstadt ghetto-camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. Although Theresienstadt was part of the Nazi propaganda scheme, disease and starvation were rampant and the camp regularly deported Jews to other ghettos, concentration camps, and extermination camps in other Nazi-occupied areas of Europe. Although Theresienstadt was overseen by a German authority who implemented orders, it was largely run by a Jewish Administration, which organized municipal services, labor detachments, and cultural life.

    Lucie was asked to help register people, which led her to a job in the Theresienstadt record office. The record office was primarily responsible for registering new people, tracking relatives, attempting to make records of families, and delivering packages with little to no addressee information. She credited her job in the records office as the reason she and her mother were never assigned to a transport out of Theresienstadt, and helped to get her grandmother off of the transport she was assigned to. Lucie’s mother did not work while in the camp, and her grandmother died about five months after arriving. While in the ghetto-labor camp, Lucie met Margaret Simon (later Hantman), who became a lifelong friend. Lucie and Fanny lived in Theresienstadt for three years before the Soviet Army liberated the camp on May 9, 1945. Days earlier, trains came with refugees from various concentration camps, many of whom died on the way or shortly after getting off the trains. It was only then that Lucie and the others at Theresienstadt learned what had happened at the concentration camps.

    In August 1945, Lucie and Fanny traveled to the Deggendorf displaced persons. In the eight months they resided at Deggendorf, Lucie was involved in activities, such as a musical review in which she appeared in a Statue of Liberty costume. It was at Deggendorf that Lucie met Gerhard Steinhagen (b. 1924), a refugee from Berlin who had also been imprisoned at Theresienstadt in June 1942 (he would later be transferred to Zossen-Wulkow bei Trebnitz, a forced-labor camp near Berlin, the Auschwitz II-Birkenau death camp in Poland, and the Gleiwitz III concentration camp in Germany). Although they did not know each other personally at Theresienstadt, she knew of him as some of her friends lived in the same house. While in Deggendorf, they kept company, but did not think that they would stay together after they immigrated to New York, as Lucie expected to go to Ohio to stay with her sister. Lucie and Fanny were on the first transport, arriving in New York on May 20, 1946. They stayed there with extended family for a short time before traveling to Ohio. Lucie eventually returned to New York, and married Gerhard on November 25, 1947. They settled in the Bronx and had two children; Randy (b. 1951) went on to become a surgeon and Renee (b. 1955) became a lawyer. Fanny Fried died in 1961. Gerhard Steinhagen died in 2003.
    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 green ink. 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. Centered within the rectangle is German text above and below a scrollwork line, 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 plate letter and number are in the upper left corner. The face has overall dirt and discoloration, is heavily creased, features a folded top right corner, and is torn along the right and top edges. The reverse also has red stains near the bottom left corner and near the center of the top and bottom edges.
    overall: Height: 2.000 inches (5.08 cm) | Width: 3.875 inches (9.843 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 2018 by Lucie Steinhagen.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 20:13:53
    This page:

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