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Croatia: Rare wartime patterns from the Nazi satellite state

Started by <k>, March 29, 2011, 05:03:09 PM

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<k>

This topic is part of a developing series on the numismatic heritage of the former Yugoslavia and its constituent parts. To see other topics in this series, click on the links below:

1] Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins.

2] Croatia of the 1930s: Official unrealised designs and a terrorist fantasy.

3] Croatia: Nazi Satellite State, 1941-5.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

In this topic, I shall deal only with the rarely seen pattern coins of the Independent State of Croatia. To read about more about the political and historical background to this state, and to see images of its very few issued coins, click on the link below:

Croatia: Nazi Satellite State, 1941-5.

To read more about the pre-war history of Pavelić and the Ustaša, click on the link below:

Croatia of the 1930s: Official unrealised designs and a terrorist fantasy.


Croatia: Rare wartime patterns from the Nazi satellite state.

In March 1941 Germany invaded Yugoslavia. On 17th April Yugoslavia surrendered, and King Peter II fled to England with his government-in-exile. The Nazis proceeded to dismember Yugoslavia. As part of their policy of "divide and rule", they allowed Ante Pavelić, the exiled leader of the Croatian ultra-nationalist terrorist movement, the Ustaša, to return to Croatia and set up a one-party state called "The Independent State of Croatia".  It was in reality a Nazi puppet state that was required to collaborate with Hitler, but Pavelić did so most willingly, and he initiated a brutal genocidal campaign against Serbs, Jews and gipsies.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



Ante Pavelić, Poglavnik ("Leader") of the Independent State of Croatia.


With the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia, a new currency had been introduced: the kuna. However, there was no mint in Zagreb, the capital city, so banknotes were produced in small denominations instead of coins, and these notes were in circulation by the end of May 1941. The German Reichsmark was also used as currency.

By September 1942 a new mint was ready, and a decree authorised the mintage of 350 million kuna in five denominations: zinc 25 and 50 banica (cents) coins, and aluminium 1, 2 and 5 kuna coins. Dies had been produced from models created by the renowned Croatian sculptor Ivo Kerdić.

For whatever reason, those coins were never struck. The mint continued with its experiments, and extremely rare 5 and 10 kuna pattern coins dated 1943 have been reported. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find images of the 1943 patterns, nor do I have any details regarding the nature of their designs.

I am however able to show images of Kerdić's earlier patterns, which for some reason are dated 1941. Not enough is known about these patterns, but they do occasionally turn up in auctions. Kerdić's designs depict peasant women, huts and fruits of the earth. They do not appear overtly political or fascist, but it is known that Pavelić and his regime idealised the Croatian peasant, and that they dreamed of a "back to the land" policy that was scarcely possible in the middle of such a bitter war.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Pattern 25 Banica in Zinc-1941.jpgPattern 25 Banica in Zinc-1941~.jpg

A pattern 25 Banica in zinc, dated 1941. KM Pn10.


Obverse: Tobacco leaves in circle dividing date. 

Reverse. Value in beaded circle.


The original Ustaša emblem appears at the top of the reverse design.

It features a bomb within a capital "U", revealing the group's terrorist roots,
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Pattern 50 Banica in Zinc-1941.jpgPattern 50 Banica in Zinc-1941~.jpg

A pattern 50 Banica in Zinc, dated 1941. KM Pn14.


Obverse: Medieval watchtower, small Arms below.

Reverse. Plums on a vine above value.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Pattern Kuna in Nickel 1941.jpg



Pattern Kuna in Nickel 1941~.jpg

A pattern 1 Kuna in Nickel, dated 1941. KM Pn20.


Obverse: Bust of peasant woman holding elaborate distaff.

Reverse. Within wreath: Large numeral, marten running behind, arms below.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Pattern 2 Kuna in Nickel 1941.jpg


Pattern 2 Kuna in Nickel 1941~.jpg

A pattern 2 Kuna in Nickel, dated 1941. KM Pn25.


Obverse: Woman kneeling facing within circle, holding a scythe and sheaf of wheat, two doves flying at her left.

Reverse. Within wreath: Large numeral 2, two martens running behind, arms below.

 In Croatian, Kuna translates as marten.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Pattern 500 Kuna in Aluminum 1941 Pavelic.jpg


Pattern 500 Kuna in Aluminum 1941 Pavelic~.jpg

A pattern 500 Kuna in aluminium, dated 1941. KM Pn39.


Obverse:  Portrait of the Croatian Poglavnik ("leader"), Ante Pavelić.

Reverse. Value within braided border above Arms.


Patterns also exist in various metals of the 500 Kuna gold coins.

They were issued as gifts for foreign rulers and dignitaries.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Pattern 500 Kuna in Aluminium 1941.jpg


Pattern 500 Kuna in Aluminium 1941~.jpg

A pattern 500 Kuna in aluminium, dated 1941. KM Pn29.


Obverse:  Woman kneeling facing within circle, holding a scythe and sheaf of wheat, two doves flying at her left. 

Reverse.  Value within braided circle above Arms. KM Pn29.

This denomination and design was also issued as an official gold coin, as a gift for foreign rulers and dignitaries.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Croatia-patterns.jpg

Croatia: patterns.


To see images of the issued gold coins bearing these designs, click on the link below:

Croatia: Nazi Satellite State, 1941-5.


The patterns illustrated in this topic were minted in various metals.

They include zinc, aluminium, aluminium-bronze, brass, nickel, copper, copper-nickel, silver, and gold.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Croatia 1994 reverse vs WW2 pattern 500 Kuna reverse.jpg



Croatia 1994 reverse vs WW2 pattern reverse.jpg

Croatia 1994 design and World War 2 pattern 500 Kuna designs.


After the war, Yugoslavia was reincorporated into the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, set up by Partisan and communist leader, Joseph Tito, who died in 1980.

In the 1990s, Yugoslavia fell apart again during the wars of the 1990s. The hatreds of the Second World War re-emerged with a vengeance, and all sides committed atrocities. As a result of these wars, Croatia became independent again, under Franjo Tudjman. The flag, symbols and coinage of the new Croatia were in many ways reminiscent of those of the original Second World War state, a fact that enraged the Serbs and did nothing to lessen tensions between them and the Croats.

The obverse design of the modern Croatian 1 kuna coin is clearly based on the 1 kuna patterns of the wartime state. However, though the wartime patterns depict two martens on the 2 kune denomination, the modern Croatian counterpart depicts only one. The arms and ornamentation on the reverse of the modern Croatian 50 lipa coin are also clearly inspired by those on the wartime 500 kuna pattern.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Because of the survival of these wartime patterns, echoes of the murderous wartime state live on, for better or worse, in the coinage of modern Croatia.

Source: World Coin News, July 1996: Croatian coinage - Forgotten gold issues of early independent state.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

translateltd

These parallels in design are most interesting, and not a little disconcerting at the same time!


chrisild

Interesting topic, and some interesting parallels here indeed. But as you wrote, "kuna" means marten, and the name of the small unit, lipa, means tilia. So it makes sense to use a tilia branch on all lipa coins, and a marten on all lipa coins ...

Christian

<k>

Quote from: chrisild on March 31, 2011, 11:44:52 PM
Interesting topic, and some interesting parallels here indeed. But as you wrote, "kuna" means marten, and the name of the small unit, lipa, means tilia. So it makes sense to use a tilia branch on all lipa coins, and a marten on all lipa kuna coins ...

Christian

True, but you can see the 1990s designs were clearly based on the patterns. There is of course nothing inherently fascist about a marten.  ;)

Tilia - had to look it up; we generally say lime tree here in the UK - some may also know "linden" from the German.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.