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Westerbork transit camp voucher, 25 cent note, acquired by a former inmate

Object | Accession Number: 2018.229.5

Voucher, valued at 25 cents, distributed in Westerbork transit camp, and acquired by Helmut Rosendahl, a German Jewish man held there in 1944. While at the camp, inmates were compelled to work, and a special currency was issued to incentivize output, but the money had no real monetary value outside the camp. After Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940, the German authorities began using Westerbork as a transit camp, holding internees until they were deported to forced labor camps or killing centers in other countries. The special currency was first distributed in 1944, and designed by Werner Löwenhardt, a Jewish artist who was imprisoned by the Germans in Westerbork from October 1942 until the camp was liberated in April 1945. The front design features a large chimney from the camp laundry and a street known as the Boulevard of Misery. The back design also features the chimney, in addition to a large, toothed spur gear. Both images support an illusion of an industrious camp as well as the hopelessness of inevitable deportation. Helmut was interned in Westerbork on September 2, 1942. His brother, father, and sisters were also held in Westerbork and several other camps. Helmut was deported to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp on September 4, 1944. He was deported again to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center and Gleiwitz I as a forced laborer. In January 1945, Helmut was sent on a death march to Blechhammer, where he was liberated by the Soviet army. After Germany surrendered to the Allies in May 1945, Helmut was able to return to Amsterdam, where he reunited with his father.

Date
issue:  1944 February 15-1945 April 12
acquired:  1944 February 15-1944 September 04
Geography
issue: Westerbork (Concentration camp); Westerbork (Netherlands)
Language
German
Classification
Exchange Media
Category
Money
Object Type
Scrip (aat)
Genre/Form
Money.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lea Rosendahl and Emmy Rosendahl Reid, daughters of Helmut Rosendahl.
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Record last modified: 2019-07-12 08:58:36
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn616235