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Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp scrip, 1 krone note, acquired by a US soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2013.453.3

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    Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp scrip, 1 krone note, acquired by a US soldier

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Theresienstadt ghetto scrip, value 1 krone, brought back from the war by Harold Goldberg, an American soldier who served in Europe, circa 1945-1946, during and after World War II. Scrip of this type was issued in Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in German annexed Czechoslovakia. All currency was confiscated from internees upon entry. The scrip, dated January 1943, but first distributed in May, was for use only in the camp. There was little to exchange it for, other than library book rental. The notes created an illusion of a normal, functioning community. But living conditions were terrible, with death due to starvation, disease, or deportation constant threats. Theresienstadt (Terezin) camp existed for 3.5 years, from November 24, 1941, to May 9, 1945, when it was liberated by Soviet troops.
    Date
    issue:  after 1943 January 01
    found:  approximately 1945-1946
    Geography
    issue: Theresienstadt (Concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the family of Harold Goldberg
    Markings
    face, upper center, green ink : QUITTUNG ÜBER / EINE KRONE [RECEIPT OF / ONE CROWN]
    face, lower center, green ink : 1
    face, lower center, green ink : WER DIESE QUITTUNG VERFÄLSCHT ODER NACHMACHT / ODER GEFÄLSCHTE QUITTUNGEN IN VERKEHR BRINGT. / WIRD STRENGSTENS BESTRAFT [ANYONE WHO FALSIFIES OR DISTORTS OR FAKES THIS RECEIPT, OR COUNTERFEITS RECEIPT, WILL BE STRICTLY PUNISHED]
    reverse, upper left, plate letter and number, green ink : A002
    reverse, center, green ink : Quittung / über / EINE KRONE [Receipt / of / ONE CROWN]
    reverse, lower center, green ink : THERESIENSTADT, AM 1.JANNER 1943 DER ALTESTE DER JUDEN / IN THERESIENSTADT [THERESIENSTADT, ON 1. JANUARY 1943 THE ELDER OF THE JEWS IN THERESIENSTADT]
    reverse, bottom right, green ink : Jakob Edelstein
    Contributor
    Subject: Harold B. Goldberg
    Designer: Peter Kien
    Issuer: Der Alteste der Juden in Theresienstadt
    Manufacturer: National Bank of Prague
    Biography
    Harold B. Goldberg (1922-2011) was born in Brooklyn, New York to Samuel and Rose Goldberg. Samuel and Rose were born in Russia and immigrated to the United States before the birth of their children. Samuel worked as a presser in a tailor shop. Harold had six siblings and the family spoke Yiddish and English at home. As a young adult Harold worked as a mail carrier and attended City College in New York. On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The following day the United States declared war on Japan, and on December 11, Germany declared war on the United States. On October 31, 1942 Harold was drafted into the U.S. military. He entered the army on October 31, 1942 as a private, and received serial number 32613738. He served in Europe until the end of the war. Harold then returned home to New York where he married his wife Rita in 1952. The family lived in New York for the rest of their lives.
    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

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Exchange Media
    Category
    Money
    Object Type
    Scrip (aat)
    Physical Description
    Rectangular paper scrip in black and green ink. The face has a background of interlinked wavy lines. On the left is a vignette of Moses holding 2 stone tablets with the 10 Commandments in Hebrew. To the right is the denomination in German text and the numeral 1. The right side has a wide offwhite margin with the denomination 1 below a Star of David. The reverse has a background of interlocked squares with German text, an engraved signature, and a large scrollwork line. The denomination 1 is in the upper right corner. The left side has a wide, offwhite border with the denomination 1 below a 6-pointed Star of David within a striped circle in the bottom corner. The plate letter and number A002 are in the upper corner. The scrip is stained, with yellowed adhesive tape on the back right.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 2.000 inches (5.08 cm) | Width: 4.000 inches (10.16 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink, pressure-sensitive tape

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The Theresienstadt scrip was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by the family of Harold Goldberg.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-09-15 10:15:23
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn84854

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