German Papiermark

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German Papiermark
Mark (German)
GER-140-Reichsbanknote-100 Trillion Mark (1924).jpg
100 trillion mark
Central bank Reichsbank
User(s)  German Empire
Germany Weimar Republic
Flag of the Free City of Danzig.svg Free City of Danzig
Socialist red flag.svg Bavarian Council Republic
Subunit
 1/100 Pfennig
Symbol
Pfennig
Plural Mark
Pfennig Pfennig
Coins 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 Pfennig
1, 3, 200, 500 Mark
Banknotes 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 Mark
1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 thousand Mark
1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 million Mark
1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 billion Mark
1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 trillion Mark
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

The name About this sound Papiermark  (English: paper mark, officially just Mark, sign: ) is applied to the German currency from 4 August 1914[1] when the link between the Goldmark and gold was abandoned, due to the outbreak of World War I. In particular, the name is used for the banknotes issued during the hyperinflation in Germany of 1922 and especially 1923, which was a result of the German government's decision to pay its war debt by printing banknotes.[disputed ]

History[edit]

From 1914, the value of the Mark fell. The rate of inflation rose following the end of World War I and reached its highest point in October 1923. The currency was stabilized in November 1923 after the announcement of the creation of the Rentenmark, although the Rentenmark did not come into circulation until 1924. When it did, it replaced the Papiermark at the rate of 1 trillion Papiermark = 1 Rentenmark. Later in 1924, the Rentenmark was replaced by the Reichsmark.

In addition to the issues of the government, emergency issues of both tokens and paper money, known as Kriegsgeld (war money) and Notgeld (emergency money), were produced by local authorities.
The Papiermark was also used in the Free City of Danzig until replaced by the Danzig Gulden in late 1923. Several coins and emergency issues in papiermark were issued by the free city.

Coins[edit]

5 Million Mark coin would have been worth $714.29 in Jan 1923, about 1 thousandth of one cent by Oct 1923.

During the war, cheaper metals were introduced for coins, including aluminium, zinc and iron, although silver ½ Mark pieces continued in production until 1919. Aluminium 1 Pfennig were produced until 1918 and the 2 Pfennig until 1916. Whilst iron 5 Pfennig, both iron and zinc 10 Pfennig and aluminium 50 Pfennig coins were issued until 1922. Aluminium 3 Mark were issued in 1922 and 1923, and aluminium 200 and 500 Mark were issued in 1923. The quality of many of these coins varied from decent to poor.

During this period, many provinces and cities also had their own corresponding coin and note issues, referred to as Notgeld currency. This came about often due to a shortage of exchangeable tender in one region or another during the war and hyperinflation periods. Some of the most memorable of these to be issued during this period came from Westfalen and featured the highest face value denominations on a coin ever, eventually reaching 50,000,000 Mark.

Banknotes[edit]

First World War issues[edit]

In 1914, the State Loan Office began issuing paper money known as Darlehnskassenscheine (loan fund notes). These circulated alongside the issues of the Reichsbank. Most were 1- and 2-Mark notes but there were also 5-, 20-, 50- and 100-Mark notes.

Post War issues[edit]

The victor nations in World War I decided to assess Germany for their costs of conducting the war against Germany. With no means of paying in gold or currency backed by reserves, Germany ran the presses, causing the value of the Mark to collapse.[disputed ] Many Germans literally carted wheelbarrows of cash to pay for groceries.[citation needed]

Between 1914 and the end of 1923 the German papiermark’s rate of exchange against the U.S. dollar plummeted from 4.2 mark/dollar to 4.2 trillion mark/dollar.[2] The price of one gold mark (0.35842g gold weight) in German paper currency at the end of 1918 was two paper mark, but by the end of 1919 a gold mark cost 10 paper mark.[3] This inflation worsened between 1920 and 1922, and the cost of a gold (or conversely the devaluation of the paper mark) rose from 15 to 1,282 paper mark.[3] In 1923 the value of the paper mark had its worst decline. By July, the cost of a gold mark had risen to 101,112 paper mark, and in September was already at 13 million.[3] On 30 Nov 1923 it cost 1 trillion paper mark to buy a single gold mark.[3]

In October 1923, Germany experienced a 29,500% hyperinflation (roughly 21% interest per day).[4] Historically, this one-month inflation rate has only been exceeded three times: Yugoslavia, 313,000,000% (64.6% per day, January 1994); Zimbabwe, 79.6 billion% (98% per day, November 2008); and Hungary, 41.9 quadrillion% (207% per day, July 1946).[4]

On 15 November 1923 the papiermark was replaced by the rentenmark at 4.2 rentenmark/dollar,[2] or 1 trillion papiermark/rentenmark (exchangeable through July 1925).[5]

During the hyperinflation, ever higher denominations of banknotes were issued by the Reichsbank[6] and other institutions (notably the Reichsbahn railway company).[7] The Papiermark was produced and circulated in enormously large quantities. Before the war, the highest denomination was 1000-Mark, equivalent to approximately 50 British pounds or 238 US dollars. In early 1922, 10,000-Mark notes were introduced, followed by 100,000- and 1 million-Mark notes in February 1923. July 1923 saw notes up to 50 million-Mark, with 10 milliard (1010)-Mark notes introduced in September. The hyperinflation peaked in October 1923 and banknote denominations rose to 100 trillion (1014)-Mark. At the end of the hyperinflation, these notes were worth approximately 5 pounds or 24 dollars.

German Papiermark of the Weimar Republic (1920–24)[edit]

Republic Treasury Notes, Weimar Republic Reichsbanknote
Year Issue Value[nb 1] Date[nb 2] Image Comments
1920
First[8] 10 6 Feb 1920
GER-67-Reichsbanknote-10 Mark (1920).jpg
126 mm × 84 mm (5.0 in × 3.3 in)
50 23 Jul 1920
GER-68-Reichsbanknote-50 Mark (1920).jpg
150 mm × 100 mm (5.9 in × 3.9 in)
100 1 Nov 1920
GER-69b-Reichsbanknote-100 Mark (1920).jpg
Portraits based on the Bamberg riders at Bamberg Cathedral
162 mm × 108 mm (6.4 in × 4.3 in)
1922
First[9] 10,000 19 Jan 1922
GER-71-Reichsbanknote-10000 Mark (1922).jpg
Bildnis Eines Jungen Mannes by Albrecht Dürer
210 mm × 124 mm (8.3 in × 4.9 in)
Second[10] 500 27 Mar 1922
GER-73-Reichsbanknote-500 Mark (1922).jpg
Jakob Meyer of the Meyer zum Pfeil family.
175 mm × 112 mm (6.9 in × 4.4 in)
500 7 Jul 1922
GER-74c-Reichsbanknote-500 Mark (1922).jpg
173 mm × 90 mm (6.8 in × 3.5 in)
Third[10] 100 4 Aug 1922
GER-75-Reichsbanknote-100 Mark (1922).jpg
162 mm × 90 mm (6.4 in × 3.5 in)
1,000 15 Sep 1922
GER-76-Reichsbanknote-1000 Mark (1922).jpg
160 mm × 85 mm (6.3 in × 3.3 in)
5,000 16 Sep 1922
GER-77-Reichsbanknote-5000 Mark (1922).jpg
Section of Portrait of a Man with a Coin by Hans Memling
130 mm × 90 mm (5.1 in × 3.5 in)
5,000 19 Nov 1922
GER-78-Reichsbanknote-5000 Mark (1922).jpg
Portrait of Hans Urmiller based on Hans Urmiller und Sohn by Barthel Beham
198 mm × 107 mm (7.8 in × 4.2 in)
50,000 19 Nov 1922
GER-80-Reichsbanknote-50000 Mark (1922).jpg
Bürgermeister Arnold von Brauweiler based on Burgomaster Arnold von Brauweiler by Barthel Bruyn the Elder
190 mm × 110 mm (7.5 in × 4.3 in)
Fourth[10] 5,000 2 Dec 1922
GER-81-Reichsbanknote-5000 Mark (1922).jpg
Merchant Imhof based on Bildnis eines unbekannten Mannes by Albrecht Dürer
130 mm × 90 mm (5.1 in × 3.5 in)
Fifth[11] 1,000 15 Dec 1922
GER-82a-Reichsbanknote-1000 Mark (1922).jpg
Portrait of Jörg Herz based on Jörg Herz Nürnberger Münzmeister by Georg Pencz
140 mm × 90 mm (5.5 in × 3.5 in)
1923
First[11] 100,000 1 Feb 1923
GER-83-Reichsbanknote-100000 Mark (1923).jpg
Merchant Georg Giese based on Der Kaufmann Georg Gisze by Hans Holbein the Younger
190 mm × 115 mm (7.5 in × 4.5 in)
Second[11] 10,000 3 Feb 1923 Not issued
20,000 20 Feb 1923
GER-85-Reichsbanknote-20000 Mark (1923).jpg
160 mm × 95 mm (6.3 in × 3.7 in)
1 million 20 Feb 1923
GER-86-Reichsbanknote-1 Million Mark (1923).jpg
160 mm × 110 mm (6.3 in × 4.3 in)
Third[12] 5,000 15 Mar 1923
GER-87-Reichsbanknote-5000 Mark (1923).jpg
Portrait of Hans Urmiller based on Hans Urmiller und Sohn by Barthel Beham
148 mm × 90 mm (5.8 in × 3.5 in)
500,000 1 May 1923
GER-88-Reichsbanknote-500000 Mark (1923).jpg
170 mm × 95 mm (6.7 in × 3.7 in)
2 million 23 Jul 1923
GER-89-Reichsbanknote-2 Million Mark (1923).jpg
Merchant Georg Giese based on Der Kaufmann Georg Gisze by Hans Holbein the Younger
162 mm × 87 mm (6.4 in × 3.4 in)
5 million 1 Jun 1923
GER-90-Reichsbanknote-5 Million Mark (1923).jpg
170 mm × 95 mm (6.7 in × 3.7 in)
Fourth[13] 100,000 25 Jul 1923
GER-91-Reichsbanknote-100000 Mark (1923).jpg
110 mm × 80 mm (4.3 in × 3.1 in)
500,000 25 Jul 1923
GER-92-Reichsbanknote-500000 Mark (1923).jpg
175 mm × 80 mm (6.9 in × 3.1 in)
1 million 25 Jul 1923
GER-93-Reichsbanknote-1 Million Mark (1923).jpg
160 mm × 95 mm (6.3 in × 3.7 in)
1 million 25 Jul 1923
GER-94-Reichsbanknote-1 Million Mark (1923).jpg
185 mm × 80 mm (7.3 in × 3.1 in)
5 million 25 Jul 1923
GER-95-Reichsbanknote-5 Million Mark (1923).jpg
190 mm × 80 mm (7.5 in × 3.1 in)
10 million 25 Jul 1923
GER-96-Reichsbanknote-10 Million Mark (1923).jpg
195 mm × 80 mm (7.7 in × 3.1 in)
20 million 25 Jul 1923
GER-97b-Reichsbanknote-20 Million Mark (1923).jpg
195 mm × 83 mm (7.7 in × 3.3 in)
50 million 25 Jul 1923
GER-98a-Reichsbanknote-50 Million Mark (1923).jpg
195 mm × 86 mm (7.7 in × 3.4 in)
Fifth[14] 50,000 9 Aug 1923
GER-99-Reichsbanknote-50000 Mark (1923).jpg
105 mm × 70 mm (4.1 in × 2.8 in)
200,000 9 Aug 1923
GER-100-Reichsbanknote-200000 Mark (1923).jpg
115 mm × 70 mm (4.5 in × 2.8 in)
1 million 9 Aug 1923
GER-101-Reichsbanknote-1 Million Mark (1923).jpg
120 mm × 80 mm (4.7 in × 3.1 in)
2 million 9 Aug 1923
GER-103-Reichsbanknote-2 Million Mark (1923).jpg
125 mm × 80 mm (4.9 in × 3.1 in)
5 million 20 Aug 1923
GER-105-Reichsbanknote-5 Million Mark (1923).jpg
128 mm × 80 mm (5.0 in × 3.1 in)
10 million 22 Aug 1923
GER-106-Reichsbanknote-10 Million Mark (1923).jpg
125 mm × 80 mm (4.9 in × 3.1 in)
100 million 22 Aug 1923
GER-107-Reichsbanknote-100 Million Mark (1923).jpg
150 mm × 85 mm (5.9 in × 3.3 in)
Sixth[15] 20 million 1 Sep 1923
GER-108-Reichsbanknote-20 Million Mark (1923).jpg
125 mm × 82 mm (4.9 in × 3.2 in)
50 million 1 Sep 1923
GER-109-Reichsbanknote-50 Million Mark (1923).jpg
124 mm × 84 mm (4.9 in × 3.3 in)
500 million 1 Sep 1923
GER-110-Reichsbanknote-500 Million Mark (1923).jpg
155 mm × 85 mm (6.1 in × 3.3 in)
500 billion 1 Sep 1923 Specimen only
1 trillion 1 Sep 1923 Specimen only
Seventh[15] 1 billion 5 Sep 1923
GER-113-Reichsbanknote-1 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
Overprinted on 15 Dec 1922 note
140 mm × 90 mm (5.5 in × 3.5 in)
1 billion 5 Sep 1923
GER-114-Reichsbanknote-1 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
160 mm × 86 mm (6.3 in × 3.4 in)
5 billion 10 Sep 1923
GER-115-Reichsbanknote-5 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
165 mm × 85 mm (6.5 in × 3.3 in)
10 billion 15 Sep 1923
GER-116-Reichsbanknote-10 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
10 billion 1 Oct 1923
GER-117-Reichsbanknote-10 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
160 mm × 105 mm (6.3 in × 4.1 in)
20 billion 1 Oct 1923
GER-118-Reichsbanknote-20 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
140 mm × 90 mm (5.5 in × 3.5 in)
50 billion 10 Oct 1923
GER-119c-Reichsbanknote-50 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
176 mm × 86 mm (6.9 in × 3.4 in)
200 billion 15 Oct 1923
GER-121-Reichsbanknote-200 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
140 mm × 80 mm (5.5 in × 3.1 in)
Eighth[16] 1 billion 20 Oct 1923
GER-122-Reichsbanknote-1 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
127 mm × 61 mm (5.0 in × 2.4 in)
5 billion 20 Oct 1923
GER-123a-Reichsbanknote-5 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
130 mm × 64 mm (5.1 in × 2.5 in)
500 billion 20 Oct 1923
GER-124a-Reichsbanknote-500 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
Overprinted on 15 Mar 1923 note
Portrait of Hans Urmiller based on Hans Urmiller und Sohn by Barthel Beham
145 mm × 90 mm (5.7 in × 3.5 in)
Ninth[16] 50 billion 26 Oct 1923
GER-125-Reichsbanknote-50 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
135 mm × 65 mm (5.3 in × 2.6 in)
100 billion 26 Oct 1923
GER-126-Reichsbanknote-100 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
135 mm × 65 mm (5.3 in × 2.6 in)
500 billion 26 Oct 1923
GER-127a-Reichsbanknote-500 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
137 mm × 65 mm (5.4 in × 2.6 in)
100 trillion 26 Oct 1923 174 mm × 86 mm (6.9 in × 3.4 in)
Tenth[17] 1 trillion 1 Nov 1923
GER-129-Reichsbanknote-1 Trillion Mark (1923).jpg
137 mm × 65 mm (5.4 in × 2.6 in)
5 trillion 1 Nov 1923
GER-130-Reichsbanknote-5 Trillion Mark (1923).jpg
168 mm × 86 mm (6.6 in × 3.4 in)
10 trillion 1 Nov 1923
GER-131-Reichsbanknote-10 Trillion Mark (1923).jpg
171 mm × 86 mm (6.7 in × 3.4 in)
10 trillion 1 Nov 1923
GER-132-Reichsbanknote-10 Trillion Mark (1923).jpg
120 mm × 82 mm (4.7 in × 3.2 in)
Eleventh[18] 100 billion 5 Nov 1923
GER-133-Reichsbanknote-100 Billion Mark (1923).jpg
135 mm × 65 mm (5.3 in × 2.6 in)
1 trillion 5 Nov 1923
GER-134-Reichsbanknote-1 Trillion Mark (1923).jpg
143 mm × 86 mm (5.6 in × 3.4 in)
2 trillion 5 Nov 1923
GER-135-Reichsbanknote-2 Trillion Mark (1923).jpg
120 mm × 71 mm (4.7 in × 2.8 in)
5 trillion 7 Nov 1923
GER-136-Reichsbanknote-5 Trillion Mark (1923).jpg
165 mm × 86 mm (6.5 in × 3.4 in)
1924
First[18] 10 trillion 1 Feb 1924
GER-137-Reichsbanknote-10 Trillion Mark (1924).jpg
140 mm × 72 mm (5.5 in × 2.8 in)
20 trillion 5 Feb 1924
GER-138-Reichsbanknote-20 Trillion Mark (1924).jpg
Portrait of a woman based on Bildnis einer jungen Venezianerin by Albrecht Dürer
160 mm × 95 mm (6.3 in × 3.7 in)
50 trillion 10 Feb 1924 Jakob Muffel based on Portrait of Jakob Muffel by Albrecht Dürer
175 mm × 95 mm (6.9 in × 3.7 in)
100 trillion 15 Feb 1924
GER-140-Reichsbanknote-100 Trillion Mark (1924).jpg
Portrait of Willibald Pirckheimer based on a painting by Albrecht Dürer
180 mm × 95 mm (7.1 in × 3.7 in)
Second[19] 5 trillion 15 Mar 1924
GER-141-Reichsbanknote-5 Trillion Mark (1924).jpg
120 mm × 72 mm (4.7 in × 2.8 in)

German Papiermark of Danzig[edit]

The Danziger Privat Actien-Bank (opened 1856) was the first bank established in Danzig.[20] They issued two series of notes denominated in thalers (1857 and 1862–73) prior to issuing the mark (1875, 1882, 1887).[21] These mark issues are extremely rare.[21] The Ostbank fur Handel and Gewerbe opened 16 March 1857, and by 1911 two additional banks (the Imperial Bank of Germany and the Norddeutsche Credit-Anstalt) were in operation.[22]

Issuance of the Danzig papiermark[edit]

The German papiermark was issued by Danzig from 1914 to 1923.[23] Five series were issued during World War I by the City Council (1914, 1916, 1918 first and second issue, and 1919).[24] Denominations ranged from 10 pfennig to 20 mark.[24] The Free City of Danzig municipal senate issued an additional four post-World War I series of notes (1922, 1923 First issue, 1923 Provisional issue, and 1923 Inflation issue).[25] The 1922 issue (31 October 1922) was denominated in 100, 500, and 1000 mark notes.[26] The denominations for the 1923 issue were 1000 (15 March 1923), and 10000 and 50000 mark notes (20 March 1923).[27] The 1923 provisional issue reused earlier notes with a large red stamp indicating the new (and higher) denominations of 1 million (8 August 1923) and 5 million (15 October 1923) mark.[28] The last series of Danzig mark was the 1923 inflation issue of 1 million (8 August 1923), 10 million (31 August 1923), 100 million (22 September 1923), 500 million (26 September 1923), and 5 billion mark notes (11 October 1923).[29] The Danzig mark was replaced by the Danzig gulden, first issued by the Danzig Central Finance Department on 22 October 1923.[29]


Papiermark of Danzig
Issue Value Image
1914 Emergency
50 Pfennig
DAN-1-Danzig City Council-50 Pfennig (1914).jpg
1 Mark
DAN-2-Danzig City Council-1 Mark (1914).jpg
2 Mark
DAN-3-Danzig City Council-2 Mark (1914).jpg
3 Mark
DAN-4-Danzig City Council-3 Mark (1914).jpg
1916
10 Pfennig
DAN-5-Danzig City Council-10 Pfennig (1916).jpg
50 Pfennig
DAN-6-Danzig City Council-50 Pfennig (1916).jpg
1918 First
5 Mark
DAN-7-Danzig City Council-5 Mark (1918).jpg
20 Mark
DAN-8-Danzig City Council-20 Mark (1918).jpg
1918 Second
50 Pfennig
DAN-9-Danzig City Council-50 Pfennig (1918).jpg
20 Mark
1919
50 Pfennig
DAN-11-Danzig City Council-50 Pfennig (1919).jpg
1922
100
DAN-13-Danzig-100 Mark (1922).jpg
500
DAN-14-Danzig-500 Mark (1922).jpg
1,000
DAN-15-Danzig-1000 Mark (1922).jpg
1923 First
1,000
10,000
DAN-18-Danzig-10000 Mark (1923).jpg
50,000
DAN-19-Danzig-50000 Mark (1923).jpg
1923 Provisional
1 million
DAN-21-Danzig-1MIL Mark (1923).jpg
5 million
DAN-23-Danzig-5MIL Mark (1923).jpg
1923 Inflation
1 million
DAN-24-Danzig-1MIL Mark (1923).jpg
10 million
DAN-25-Danzig-10MIL Mark (1923).jpg
100 million
DAN-27-Danzig-100MIL Mark (1923).jpg
500 million
DAN-28a-Danzig-500MIL Mark (1923).jpg
5 billion
DAN-30-Danzig-5BIL Mark (1923).jpg
10 billion
DAN-31-Danzig-10BIL Mark (1923).jpg

Note on numeration[edit]

In German, Milliarde is 1,000,000,000, or one thousand million, while Billion is 1,000,000,000,000, or one million million.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ All values are in Reichsbank Mark.
  2. ^ Series date printed on the banknote.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Knapp, George Friedrich (1924), The State Theory of Money, Macmillan and Company, pp. vxi 
  2. ^ a b Barisheff 2013, p. 32.
  3. ^ a b c d Fischer 2010, p. 85.
  4. ^ a b Fischer 2010, p. 91.
  5. ^ Widdig 2001, p. 48.
  6. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 555–64.
  7. ^ Cuhaj 2009, pp. 629–36.
  8. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 555–56.
  9. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 556.
  10. ^ a b c Cuhaj 2010, pp. 557.
  11. ^ a b c Cuhaj 2010, pp. 558.
  12. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 558-59.
  13. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 559.
  14. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 560-61.
  15. ^ a b Cuhaj 2010, pp. 561-62.
  16. ^ a b Cuhaj 2010, pp. 562.
  17. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 562-63.
  18. ^ a b Cuhaj 2010, pp. 563.
  19. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 563-64.
  20. ^ Kelly 1920, p. 30.
  21. ^ a b Cuhaj 2009, p. 613.
  22. ^ Rand McNally 1911, p. 972.
  23. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 427–30.
  24. ^ a b Cuhaj 2010, pp. 427–28.
  25. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 428–30.
  26. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 428.
  27. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 429.
  28. ^ Cuhaj 2010, pp. 429–30.
  29. ^ a b Cuhaj 2010, pp. 430.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by:
Goldmark
Currency of Germany
1914 – 1923
Succeeded by:
Rentenmark
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1 Rentenmark = 1,000,000,000 Papiermark, and 4.2 Rentenmark = US$1