World of Coins

Modern European coins except the euro => Germany => Topic started by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 07:37:59 PM

Title: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 07:37:59 PM
By the end of World War 2, Soviet troops had advanced into Berlin and across much of Central and Eastern Europe. Hitler was dead and Germany lay in ruins. The victorious Allies - the USA, the UK, the USSR and latterly France - now rearranged the map of Europe.

The Soviet Union absorbed the Baltic States and kept the territorial gains it had previously made under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov%E2%80%93Ribbentrop_Pact). East Prussia was lost to Germany and largely split between Poland and Russia.

Meanwhile, there were mass expulsions of ethnic Germans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_and_expulsion_of_Germans_(1944%E2%80%931950)) from countries such as Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Thousands of Germans died, and millions fled to the reduced territory of Germany proper.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 07:40:31 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=45480.0;attach=90173;image)

Germany divided: Allied Occupation zones, 1947.



From Wikipedia:

Upon the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, the victorious Allies asserted joint authority and sovereignty over 'Germany as a whole', defined as all territories of the former German Reich west of the Oder–Neisse line, having declared the destruction of Nazi Germany at the death of Adolf Hitler (see 1945 Berlin Declaration). The four powers divided 'Germany as a whole' into four occupation zones for administrative purposes, under the United States, United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union respectively; creating what became collectively known as Allied-occupied Germany. This division was ratified at the Potsdam Conference (17 July to 2 August 1945). The four zones were as agreed in February 1945 by the United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union meeting at the Yalta Conference.



Germany's capital city, Berlin, was also divided between the four Allies, although geographically the city was surrounded by the Soviet Zone.

See: Allied-occupied Germany (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied-occupied_Germany).

France also occupied and administered the Saar Protectorate (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saar_Protectorate) from 1947 to 1956.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 07:44:21 PM
Here you see the war time zinc coins of Nazi Germany that were in circulation at the end of World War 2. After the fall of Hitler, the Nazi atrocities committed in the concentration and extermination camps were exposed to public knowledge. The process of de-Nazification was given priority. Part of that process involved purging all Nazi symbols, and in particular the hated swastika, from the public domain.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=42473.0;attach=81966;image)
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 07:46:22 PM
From Wikipedia:

During the first two years of occupation the occupying powers of France, United Kingdom, United States, and the Soviet Union were not able to successfully negotiate a possible currency reform in Germany. Due to the strains between the Allies each zone was governed independently as regards monetary matters. The US occupation policy was governed by the directive JCS 1067 (in effect until July 1947), which forbade the US military governor "to take any steps to strengthen German financial structure". As a consequence a separate monetary reform in the U.S. zone was not possible. Each of the Allies printed its own occupation currency.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 07:50:07 PM
As an interim measure, the Allies issued special Occupation coins. These largely retained the designs used during the war but removed the swastika.

The zinc 1 pfennig coin was issued in 1945 and 1946.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 07:53:45 PM
The zinc 10 pfennig coin was issued from 1945 to 1948, inclusive.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 07:55:23 PM
The zinc 5 pfennig coin did not appear until 1947. It was last issued in 1948.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 07:57:47 PM
The 10 pfennig coin was the highest denomination. There was no 2 pfennig coin and no 50 pfennig coin.

Below you see the Occupation set of coins all together.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 08:06:45 PM
Under the Nazis, the 1 to 10 Reichspfennig zinc coins had been designed by Otto Vogt and Hans H. Schweitzer, and the dies were produced by Otto Vogt.

The Occupation coins were based on the WW2 designs, but the wreath and swastika were replaced by the eagle's tail, and the surrounding elements were modified somewhat. The dies were done by Otto Vogt again. But did he also make those minor design changes? Does anybody know the answer to that question?
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 08:10:33 PM
I have seen an image of a "Probe" (trial coin), which has an eagle that is basically the Nazi zinc coin eagle but with the swastika removed to leave a blank space. I asked our forum member chrisild whether such an issue had been seriously considered. He replied as follows:

I have seen images, yes - that version was made in Munich (D) only, and oddly enough with a 1944 date only. How many of those were made is unknown, but probably just a few. My guess is that somebody at the Munich mint had this idea - why not make the same coins again, just leave the swastika out? This was done with several public buildings too; sometimes the wreath stayed, sometimes it was removed as well. In any case, when the actual Allied Occupation coins were issued, the eagle had a "proper tail".
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 08:13:21 PM
At first, the war-weary American public really had not wanted more involvement in Europe. It was not keen to spend American money on helping Germany or Europe. Nor did France wish to co-operate in helping Germany.

From Wikipedia:

During the first two years of occupation the occupying powers of France, United Kingdom, United States, and the Soviet Union were not able to successfully negotiate a possible currency reform in Germany. Due to the strains between the Allies each zone was governed independently as regards monetary matters. The US occupation policy was governed by the directive JCS 1067 (in effect until July 1947), which forbade the US military governor "to take any steps to strengthen German financial structure". As a consequence a separate monetary reform in the U.S. zone was not possible. Each of the Allies printed its own occupation currency.



However, after the brutal 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Czechoslovak_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat), when the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, with Soviet backing, assumed undisputed control over the government of Czechoslovakia, France and the USA dropped their objections to co-operating to help Germany.

Previously the Allied focus had been on de-Nazification. Now the priority was to contain Stalin and his Soviets. Truman told his Americans that it was impossible to regenerate Europe without regenerating Germany. Alarmed by Soviet expansion, the Americans were behind him as he then launched the Marshall Plan, spending billions of dollars to regenerate Western Europe's economies. The three Western Allies in Germany - the USA, the UK and France - then saw that they had to co-operate in producing a common currency for West Germany.



From Wikipedia:

The Bank deutscher Länder (Bank of German States), abbreviation BdL, was the first central bank for the Deutsche Mark. It was founded on 1 March 1948 and was replaced in 1957 by the Deutsche Bundesbank.

The main task of the BdL was to manage currency policy in the American and British occupation zones in Germany. On 21 June 1948 the Bank deutscher Länder introduced the Deutsche Mark currency in the three western zones of occupation. On 1 November 1948, state central banks in the French zone, which had adopted the Deutsche Mark in June too, joined the BdL. In May 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was founded, however, the BdL remained subject to the control of the three Western Allied powers—the United States, the United Kingdom and France until 1951. Later, BdL became an independent agency of the West German states, similar to the concept of independence displayed by the Federal Reserve System in the United States.

In the process of introducing the Deutsche Mark in 1948, the states' central banks (German: Landeszentralbanken, LZB), then entities of the individual German states, founded the Bank deutscher Länder as their subsidiary for the central purpose of issuing the new currency, avoiding thus conflicts among the states.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 03, 2019, 08:16:06 PM
See also: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,45480.0.html).
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: chrisild on October 03, 2019, 10:09:07 PM
There was no 2 pfennig coin and no 50 pfennig coin.

At least theoretically there was a 50 Reichspfennig coin - the aluminum piece dated 1935. That was a one-year issue only, with fairly high mintage figures though. Even more surprisingly, it did not feature a swastika. Now both that aluminum piece and the later one with a swastika were legal tender in the Western zones until the end of March 1949. How many swastika pieces actually circulated then, I don't know. But keep in mind that cash did not buy you much in the years before the '48 currency reform ...

Christian
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 04, 2019, 12:05:00 AM
At least theoretically there was a 50 Reichspfennig coin - the aluminum piece dated 1935.

I meant there was no 50 Reichspfennig coin among the Allied Occupation coins, and I therefore thought, on first reading your comment, that you had misunderstood me. However, you did not. I now understand the point that you are making: because the aluminum piece dated 1935 (and issued in that year only) did not feature a swastika, it was allowed to circulate after the war. So there I have learned something, as I usually do when I post topics such as this.

It is important to remember, of course, that the Nazis did not add a swastika to the standard circulation coins until 1936 - and even by then, not to all of them. The 50 Reichspfennig had to wait until 1938, while the 1 Reichsmark coin never received one. The commemorative 2 and 5 Reichsmark coins of 1934 (first Anniversary of Nazi Rule / Potsdam Garrison Church) featured swastikas, but they were by definition not standard circulation coins - though they did circulate.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 04, 2019, 12:56:27 PM
According to Gerhard Schön's catalogue, the aluminium 50 Reichspfennig coin was minted in 1935 - and 1947. So it was actually minted again after the war, and presumably specifically because it did not feature a swastika!
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 04, 2019, 09:23:16 PM
Here you a see a trial strike of a 5 Pfennig coin, dated 1947. There is a gap where the swastika previously was on the war time coin.

Image courtesy of Andreas Fenzl (https://www.ma-shops.co.uk/fenzl/index.php).



Documents of the Hamburg Mint show that 5 pieces were minted for the Reichsbank head office in Hamburg.

Zinc, 2.4 g in weight and 1.1mm thick.

Schaaf S.371 No.374G1
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 05, 2019, 11:41:56 PM
My thanks to Gerhard Schön, who has sent me this image of a pattern piece of the 1947 issue of the aluminium 50 Reichspfennig. This coin was first minted in 1935 as a one year issue only, during the Nazi era, but surprisingly without a swastika. Only through writing this topic did I learn that it was also minted in 1947 and precisely because it did not feature a swastika.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 06, 2019, 12:26:44 AM
And here is the 1935 version of the aluminium 50 Reichspfennig.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: chrisild on October 07, 2019, 11:04:17 PM
Great photos; thanks for the "hunt" and the posts! Yes, the 50 Rpf 1947J was apparently a pattern piece. According to the Jaeger catalog, somebody paid €1,400 for it at a Künker auction in 2002. Schön lists a few: Cu-Ni-plated steel 1946D, aluminum 1947J, and cupro-nickel 1947J. My guess is that these were initiatives of the mints, nothing "ordered" by the allied forces. The Schön catalog has five to ten variants for each of the Allied Occupation coins ...

Christian
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 08, 2019, 01:26:53 AM
Thanks for that. So there were no circulation pieces issued of those pattern pieces. An interesting interim period in the numismatic history of Germany, then.
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: Figleaf on October 08, 2019, 11:36:23 AM
Interesting indeed. The coins show how the Germans were grappling with a "re-branding" of their country, shaking off the nazi influence while looking for inspiration in the period before. The process ultimately resulted in a completely new series with only a wink to the pre-nazi coins. History shows that beginning almost, but not quite from scratch was the right decision.

In parallel, the thread shows how "de-nazification" was supported and carried forward by the new powers that be, headed by Konrad Adenauer. There is an illusion among in particular rightist politicians that if you remove a vicious dictator, the population will soon take over and allow you to withdraw. Events show over and over again that this easy assumption is false. Germans had experienced living in a democracy and they were at ease with the rules, including the inevitable rotation of political parties. They were prepared to take responsibility for the destruction, misery and injustices done in their name. That is the exception, not the rule. In countries from Japan to Iraq, clans, families and traditional rulers soon make a comeback and try to forget, refuse to take responsibility, let alone learn. They tend to restore, rather than re-make.

Peter
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: chrisild on October 08, 2019, 12:35:07 PM
It made some sense to not come up with a completely new design for the coins that this topic is about: the pieces issued after the end of WW2, but before the introduction of the new coins in both West and East Germany after the 1948 currency reforms. All the specifications (design, size, composition, etc.) are the same as in the nazi years; the only exception is that the eagle now has a tail instead of that wreath with the swastika.

As for the political decisions made in those years, well, on one hand it was obvious which country and government was responsible for beginning the war, so anything like the post-WW1 stab-in-the-back legend (that ultimately contributed to the end of the Weimar Republic) would have been impossible here. So yeah, let's try this freedom and democracy thing again. Never mind that, once the Cold War had taken priority, having a few "former" nazis in responsible positions in the Federal Republic was obviously tolerated by the Western Allies and the Adenauer government ...

What I also like about the Allied Occupation coins is that they continue using those Fraktur (blackletter?) characters. Now such fonts do not really look good when following the edge of a coin for example, and they make using ALL CAPS - common on coins - pretty much impossible. The funny thing is, while Fraktur had been supported and "pushed" by the nazis first, the government decided in 1941 to not use it any more because it was, ta-daa, now considered Jewish. Lots of transition regulations and periods were applied though, after all the war effort had a higher priority.

Anyway, the post '45 decision to also leave the font unchanged also showed, deliberately or not, that these were neither "Jewish" nor "Nazi" characters. :)

Christian
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on December 22, 2019, 01:29:38 PM
See also:

1] Coinage of the German Democratic Republic (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,47189.0.html).

2] Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,45480.0.html).

3] Saarland Coins and Currency (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,47466.0.html).
Title: Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
Post by: <k> on October 12, 2020, 12:56:01 PM
Western Europe: Some pre-euro coinages issued after 1945.

01] Austria: pre-euro coinage from 1946 to 2001 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,43846.0.html).

02] Belgian franc: from 1948 until the euro (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,45431.0.html).

03] Coinage of Switzerland (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,45897.0.html).

04] Cyprus: final coinage under British rule (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49443.0.html).

05] Finland: Wildlife series of the 1990s (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,25942.0.html).

06] French coins from the 1950s until the introduction of the euro (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,47843.0.html).

07] German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,46863.0.html).

08] Greece 1973: the fascinating story behind Series A and B (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,14985.0.html).

09] Icelandic marine series, 1981 to date (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,14175.0.html).

10] Italy's final pre-euro coinage (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,43868.0.html).

11] Luxembourg's coinage after World War 2 but before the euro (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,47910.0.html).

12] Malta's pre-euro coinage, 1972-2007 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,9100.0.html).

13] Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,35965.0.html).

14] Milestones in the decimal coinage of Gibraltar (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,12037.0.html).

15] Milestones in the decimal coinage of Guernsey (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,11469.0.html).

16] Milestones in the decimal coinage of Ireland (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,43366.0.html).

17] Milestones in the decimal coinage of Jersey (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,11503.0.html).

18] Milestones in the decimal coinage of the Isle of Man (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,11994.0.html).

19] Milestones in the decimal coinage of the UK (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,12072.0.html).

20] Norwegian wildlife series, 1958 to 1973 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,14248.0.html).

21] Portugal's final pre-euro coin series (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,44163.0.html).

22] Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,45480.0.html).

23] Pre-euro coinage of the Republic of Greece, 1976 to 2001 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49456.0.html).

24] Republic of Cyprus: pre-euro coinage (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49444.0.html).

25] Spain: pre-euro coinage of King Juan Carlos I (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49513.0.html).