Third Reich: 1 Reichsmark with swastika

Started by <k>, April 25, 2017, 11:37:22 AM

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<k>

normal_Germany_Third_Reich_KM91.jpg

Germany, 5 Reichspfennig, 1937.



The Nazis came to power in 1933, but it was not until 1936 that some regular circulation coins were issued, showing the eagle perched on a  swastika within a wreath. The new 1, 2, 5 and 10 Reichspfennig designs were issued in that year, all with a common obverse. Above you see an image of the 5 Reichspfennig, dated 1937. The coin and image belongs to our forum member Quant.Geek. You can read his original topic here.

The 50 Reichspfennig was not "Nazified" until 1938. 
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#1
Germany 1 Reichsmark 1936D.jpg

The 1 Reichsmark design, dated 1936, courtesy of www.muenzen-ritter.de


The 2 and 5 Reichsmark coins portrayed the late President Hindenburg on the reverse.

They also had their obverse design Nazified in 1936.


However, the 1 Reichsmark coin was never Nazified. It was last issued in 1939.

Unlike the lower denominations, it was never issued as a war issue.

War issues were minted in lower grade material such as aluminium or zinc.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#2
354G9.jpg



354G13.jpg



354G14.jpg


However, various trials or patterns are shown in a specialist Schaaf catalog.

It is entitled "Die Proben der deutschen Münzen" (Trials / patterns of German coins).


These show the 1 Reichsmark designs with a swastika.

Some are scanned above

The word "Probe" on the middle image means "trial".
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#3
Germany 1RM 1939-ptn-.jpg

Image courtesy of www.kuenker.de
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#4


The eagle on the trial coins is very different from the eagle that appeared on the issued coin.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

chrisild

That eagle on the regular 1 RM coin (in replies 1 and 4) is basically the same that can also be found on several Weimar Republic coins. So we can assume that the nazi regime wanted to emphasize the combination of change and continuity here: the same eagle and almost the same wreath around the "1" - but Fraktur font and, more importantly, the "Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz" slogan.

That slogan is, like many thing that the nazis adopted, not evil per se; translates to "Common benefit before proper benefit", or "Public need before private greed". In the context of the nazi regime, however, it was perfidious (similar to the cynical "Arbeit macht frei" on concentration camp gates). Even more so as it replaced the "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit" inscription that many Weimar coins had on the front, back or edge.

So I guess that these changes were "nazi enough" for the regime ... at least for a while. Stay tuned.

Christian

chrisild

Interestingly, the swastika on earlier nazi coins - see the 5 Reichspfennig piece in the first post - is much bigger than later ones. In 1938 a new type was introduced, with a larger eagle and smaller swastika much like the one in replies 2 and 3 here. Don't actually know what caused that change; maybe the regime decided that country and party had "merged" to such an extent that the smaller swastika would be sufficient. :) (Side note: The party's eagle looked in the opposite direction of the country's eagle.)

So yes, had the 1 RM actually been modified, the eagle would have been that second type. As we know, when WW2 began, silver and also nickel were "too precious" to be wasted on coins.

The Schaaf catalog, published in 1979, lists 18 different trial pieces for the nazi 1 RM coin. Some from 1993, mostly without swastika, some from 1939/40, with swastika. The metals used for these were initially nickel, later aluminum but also Cu-Ni-plated iron, aluminum-bronze, and even (the 354G14 piece) silver. I am pretty sure that would not have been the material used for an actual 1 RM coin ...

Christian

<k>

Quote from: chrisild on April 25, 2017, 01:59:44 PM
the "Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz" slogan. That slogan is, like many thing that the nazis adopted, not evil per se; translates to "Common benefit before proper benefit", or "Public need before private greed". In the context of the nazi regime, however, it was perfidious

Political scientists point out that both communism and Nazism were collectivist, not individualist, therefore the individual was expendable and could be murdered if the regime thought it necessary. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union have been referred to as "gardening states", which obsessively pruned and weeded their human populations. A chilling concept.

Quote
The party's eagle looked in the opposite direction of the country's eagle.

Interesting - I didn't know that.

The smaller swastika was used on the nickel 1938 50 Reichspfennig and on the "war measures" coins from 1939-40 onwards - those coins made of aluminium and zinc.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

chrisild

The "Gemeinnutz ..." slogan is, by itself, not bad in my opinion. It goes back to Montesquieu, who in the mid-1700s wrote that "le bien particulier doit céder au bien public." From what I remember, that means (nutshell mode) the functioning of a republican society relies on citizens who not only respect each other but also refrain from egocentrism if that would endanger the community. Or so ...

But of course the nazi context perverts the idea, as does any political system where one party, one group only, decides what is best and what has to be condemned or exterminated. Another "fine" nazi motto was "Du bist nichts, Dein Volk ist alles." (You are nothing, your people is everything.) Can be found on medals but not coins.

Christian

Figleaf

Interesting discussion on the slogan Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz. I do see it as prejudiced against liberty and lacking balance. It includes the opinion that the state can decide on life and property of individuals if it deems that this is beneficial for the community. Like ants or soldier bees, sacrificing their life thoughtlessly in case of a perceived attack on the nest.

While French philosophers recognise that liberty is relative, their approach does not involve public utility, but the accumulated freedom of all other individuals. A cherished expression on the subject in French is Ma liberté s'arrête où commence celle des autres (my freedom ends where those of others start). The only freedom is individual and the only restriction is the freedom of others. This is how I read the Montesquieu quote: my individual freedom has to be weighed against the individual freedom of others. That would be the same as Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz only if Gemeinnutz is the simple aggregation of the Eigennutz of all individuals, i.e. if the state has no other role than to combine the interests of its subjects, without caring for its own interests.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

chrisild

Admittedly it is extremely hard for me to discuss that "Gemeinnutz ..." slogan without knowing about and thinking of how it was used by the nazis. Then again, if a new freeway "has" to be built and my house or lot is in the way, this may result in an expropriation (eminent domain) decision which, in a way, follows the same principle ...

But my main point was that "Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz" replaced the Weimar Republic's "Einigkeit ..." motto. The latter appeared on the 5 RM circulation coin (1927-1932/33), and on the edge of many Weimar commems. In 1933 it had to go, so to say, and the nazi motto appeared on this 1 RM coin, and on the edge of some commems.

Christian