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Imperial Germany Reichsbanknote, 100 mark note, from the album of a Waffen-SS officer acquired by an American soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2013.455.6

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    Imperial Germany Reichsbanknote, 100 mark note, from the album of a Waffen-SS officer acquired by an American soldier


    Brief Narrative
    Imperial Germany Reichsbanknote, 100 [ein hundert] mark note from the album of Hauptsturmfuhrer Gerhard Pleiss, an officer in the Waffen-SS, SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte SS "Adolf Hitler," 1st Company. This type of note was first issued on February 8, 1908, during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II. In 1936, the 21 year old Pleiss volunteered for the SS and was accepted into the Leibstandart, Hitler's personal bodyguard. He was awarded for his leadership in the May 1940 invasion of France and the April 1941 Balkans campaign. In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Pleiss was killed by a mine on November 17, 1941, during the offensive on Rostov-on-Don. The note was preserved in Pleiss's photograph album, which was brought back from the war by Milton V. Elliott, an American soldier.
    issue:  after 1908 February 08
    issue: Berlin (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Wendie Theus
    face, center left and right, serial number, red ink : C · 8970155
    face, center left and right, black ink : 100
    face, upper center, black ink : Reichsbanknote. / Ein Hundert Mark
    face, center, black ink : zahlt die Reichsbankhauptkasse in Berlin ohne Legitimations = / prüfung dem Einlieferer dieser Banknote. / Berlin, den 7. Februar 1908. / Reichsbankdirektorium /engraved signatures [Will be paid by the Reich’s main bank cashier without a legitimation check in Berlin / Berlin February 7, 1908 / Governing body of the Empire’s bank]
    face, lower left and right, blue ink : Wer Banknoten nachmacht oder verfälscht oder nachge / machte oder verfälschte sich verschafst und in verkehr bringt / wird mit Zuchthaus nicht unter zwei Jahren bestraft. [Those who imitate or counterfeit banknotes or distort or falsify, procure and market it, will be punished with imprisonment of not less than two years]
    face, bottom. white on blue ink : HUNDERT MARK 100 MARK HUNDERT
    back, upper and lower left, blue ink : 100
    back, top and bottom center, serial number, red ink : C · 8970155
    back, center, black outline : EinHundertMark.
    back, upper and lower right, blue ink : 100
    back, blue ink over watermark M : 100
    back, bottom right corner, serial number, red ink : C · 8970155
    Original owner: Gerhard Pleiss
    Subject: Gerhard Pleiss
    Issuer: Reichsbankdirektorium
    Subject: Milton V. Elliott
    Gerhard (Gerd) Pleiss was born on April 20, 1915, in Remscheid, Germany. He attended gymnasium in Dortmund and then began an apprenticeship with a dentist. He volunteered for the SS in April 1936 and was accepted into the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, 1st SS Company. This unit was Hitler's personal bodyguard, charged with guarding Hitler, his office, and personal residences. Pleiss attended SS-Junker school in Braunschweig and, in April 1939, was promoted to Untersturmfuhrer. He participated in the invasion of France in May 1940 and was awarded the Iron Cross, 1st class. In 1941, the Leibstandarte became part of the Waffen SS, during preparations for Operation Barbarossa, the planned invasion of the Soviet Union. SS-Hauptsturmführer Pleiss was made commander, 1st Company LSSAH, for the campaign in the Balkans. In April 1941, during the Battle of Vevi in northern Greece, Pleiss's unit captured Klidi Pass from British troops, opening the way into Greece. He was wounded, but remained in command. Pleiss was awarded the Knight's Cross, the highest award for bravery and leadership, which was personally presented to him by Hitler on April 21 in Berlin. Operation Barbarossa was launched on June 22, 1941. Pleiss was mortally wounded on November 17, 1941, when he stepped on a land mine during the attack on Rostov-on-Don (Rostov-na-Donu, Russia.)
    Milton Verne Elliott was born on May 25, 1921, in Thayer, Kansas, to Vern H. and Ann C. Glentzer Elliott. He had a sister Ernestine. In August 1940, Milton enlisted in the United States Army. America entered World War II in December 1941. At some point, Milton was deployed to the European Theater of Operations. He returned to the US after the war ended in May 1945. In 1948, Milton married Gladys Baldwin. The couple had one daughter. Milton, 82, died in October 2003 in Missouri.

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Physical Description
    Oversize 100 mark paper currency printed in black and blue ink on ribbed hemp security paper with short blue silk threads, called Wilcox paper. The face has a large blue rectangle with a scalloped border with the denomination 100 in alternating circles. On the left side is a vertical white rectangle with a watermark of an older man, Kaiser Wilhelm 1. In the center is a rectangle with a light blue, imperial escutcheon underprint, overlaid with the denomination Ein Hundert Mark, German text and signatures, and a red Reichsbank seal with the Imperial eagle in each corner. It is framed by 6 panels; on the left is a profile bust of Mercury, the serial number, and denomination 100; on the right, a profile bust of Ceres, Goddess of Agriculture, serial number, and 100. The reverse has an illustration of a forested riverbank with Germania, a watchful, crowned, woman in regal dress seated under an oak tree. Her left arm rests upon a battle shield with an Imperial eagle and she grasps a sword with her right hand. At her feet are implements of industry, commerce and farming, such as an anvil and yoke. Three warships sail up the river in the left background. The denomination 100 is in the 4 inner corners, the serial number in red ink is in the top center, bottom, and bottom right corner, and EinHundertMark is printed across the center. The note is creased and soiled.
    overall: Height: 4.000 inches (10.16 cm) | Width: 8.125 inches (20.638 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 bank note was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by Wendie Theus, the daughter of Milton V. Elliott.
    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:
    2023-08-28 08:08:10
    This page:

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