This complete seven-piece currency set from the notorious Theresienstadt camp sheds light on the elaborate sham by the Nazi propaganda machine to present Terezin as a "model camp."Even though no normal trade and business activities were possible in concentration camps, it was not uncommon to see local notes and tokens. As soon as deportees arrived they had to exchange all their money, bonds and shares into "local currency." At the camp of Theresienstadt located North of Prague and in the old stronghold of Terezin, the notes were divided into the following seven denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 kronen - the krone being the currency of Bohemia and Moravia. All those different values had the same design, but differed in size and color.* The notes were designed in 1942 by Czech artist, poet and inmate Peter Kien** (who died in Auschwitz in 1944). The primary design was a vignette of Moses holding the Ten Commandments and it was approved in the first instance by Jacob Edelstein, the Chief of Theresienstadt's Council of Elders. His original design of Moses' portrait was approved by the Council of Jewish Elders and the camp commandant but not by Adolf Eichmann, head of the Gestapo Department for Jewish Affairs. He considered Moses too Aryan in appearance and ordered that he should be portrayed with a prominent hooked nose and curly hair. Eichmann also required that Moses' hand obscure the commandment "Thou shalt not kill," and that the denominations be changed from "Ghetto Kronen" to just "Kronen." The front of the notes has a vignette of Moses holding the tablets of the Ten Commandments at left. In the centre are the words "Quittung U?ber" (Receipt for), the denomination in words then the denomination in numerals and a warning against counterfeiting. At the lower right is the denomination in numerals and a six pointed Star of David. The back of the notes includes the same "Quittung u?ber" followed by the denomination. The place and date at lower left and the title - the first Elder of the Jews in Theresienstadt - and signature of Jakob Edelstein are at lower right. At left is the denomination in figures and Star of David and upper left the serial number (20, 50, 100 kr) or plate letter and number (1, 2, 5, 10 kr). The notes were dated 1st January 1943 but the first distribution was not made until May 12 1943. Although a good mean to bolster the ruse of normality within Theresienstadt, the notes had no real economic value but could be used to pay certain taxes, amongst others those on packages entering the camps (above the taxes already paid by the sender). Camp shops were only shop windows and, ironically, those windows were mostly filled with objects seized from the Jews at their arrival in the ghettos. Life in the ghetto had little in common with the note's lavish design. Almost all inmates perished or were transported to Auschwitz. More than 140.000 Jews have been transported to Theresienstadt. At the time of its liberation on May 8, 1945 only a little more than 17,000 starving and terrorized inmates were found.The notes - all uncirculated - are in very good condition, at the exception of the minor following flaws: Minor and sporadic foxing on the 10 kronen note. A small smudge at verso of the 20 kronen note. Slight creasing at upper front corner of the 50 kronen note. * 1 kronen (green): Number printed: 2,242,000; Size: 3 7/8 x 2" (98 x 49mm); Series letters: A & plate number 2 kronen (red): Number printed: 1,019,000; Size: 4 1/4 x 2 1/8" (107 x 53mm); Series letters: A & plate number 5 kronen (brown): Number printed: 530,000; Size: 4 1/2 x 2 1/4" (113 x 57mm); Series letters: A & plate number 10 kronen (blue): Number printed: 456,000; Size: 4 7/8 x 2 1/2" (124 x 62mm); Series letters: A & plate number 20 kronen (green): Number printed: 319,000; Size: 5 1/8 x 2 5/8" (130 x 67mm); Series letters: A-R & serial number 50 kronen (blue): Number printed: 159,000; Size: 5 1/2 x 2 3/4" (139 x 70mm); Series letters: A-H & seria. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Complete currency set in use at the ...
Publisher: Der Alteste der Juden
Publication Date: 1943
Binding: currency notes
Book Condition: vg
Edition: Original document.
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