World of Coins

Modern European coins except the euro => Germany => Topic started by: Bimat on August 06, 2010, 04:24:09 PM

Title: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Bimat on August 06, 2010, 04:24:09 PM
This is my latest acquisition-this coins commemorates the 1st anniversary of Nazi rule.The coin isn't in its best condition and my poor photography skills make the appearance even worse :(

My coin has a mint mark of Berlin Mint (A).

The details of coin are:

2 Reichsmark

KM# 91

Subject: 1st Anniversary - Nazi Rule March 21, 1933

Obverse: Imperial eagle divides dates, denomination below

Reverse: Potsdam Garrison Church

8.0000 g., 0.6250 Silver, .1607 oz. ASW (=4.6 grams, OR 4.591428571428572 grams to be precise ;)), 27 mm.

Mintage Quantities:- (Numbers From SCWC)

Mint MarkMintage
A2,710,000
D703,000
E373,000
F502,000
G305,000
J409,000

Some background information(from wikipedia):

Potsdam is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg and is part of the Metropolitan area of Berlin/Brandenburg. It is situated on the River Havel, 24 km (15 miles) southwest of Berlin city center.

Berlin was the official capital of Prussia and later of the German Empire, but the court remained in Potsdam, where many government officials settled. In 1914, the Emperor Wilhelm II signed the Declaration of War in the Neues Palais. The city lost its status as a second capital in 1918, when Wilhelm II abdicated at the end of World War I.

At the start of the Third Reich in 1933 there was a ceremonial handshake between President Paul von Hindenburg and (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_von_Hindenburg) the new Chancellor Adolf Hitler on 21 March 1933 in Potsdam's Garrison Church in what became known as the "Day of Potsdam". This symbolized a coalition of the military (Reichswehr) and Nazism. Potsdam was severely damaged in bombing raids during World War II.

Further comments are most welcome! :)

Aditya




Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Figleaf on August 06, 2010, 08:16:24 PM
Your info is fine, Aditya. There is a lot of detail left on this coin, so my advice would be to treat it with a soft eraser. It will most probably remove the brown goo. I am not so sure about what appears as yellow on my screen, but the eraser will not harm your coin and it may help. The black stuff may be oxydation and may prove to be the hardest to remove.

Peter
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Prosit on August 06, 2010, 08:34:56 PM
I would soak it in acetone.

Dale
Title: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Bimat on August 07, 2010, 03:24:47 PM
Thanks for the advice,Peter,I'll give a try..I think the collector (I won't call him a dealer) overgraded the coin,and I didn't ask for scans,so I was also bit disappointed when I actually saw the coin.. :-\

As usual,I have some questions ;)

I have also received 5 Reichsmark coin(with same subject),will post a scan soon..

Aditya
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Figleaf on August 07, 2010, 04:35:16 PM
If the yellow stuff doesn't vanish, consider Dale's recipe. Acetone will solve all kinds of chemicals (but who am I telling) :P

Peter
Title: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Bimat on August 07, 2010, 04:47:50 PM
My problem is different..I have already put it in the holder (self adhesive) and removing it is a tedious job.I may prefer to keep the coin as it is...as I'm not going to resale it anytime in future,the grade hardly has any importance :) At-least I can say that my Third Reich coin circulated to a large extent and Hitler once used it :D :D

Quote
If the yellow stuff doesn't vanish, consider Dale's recipe. Acetone will solve all kinds of chemicals (but who am I telling)  :P
Cleaning metals isn't my job,metallurgical engineers handle all that! And as far as chemicals are concerned,there's little chemistry(and so the chemicals) in chemical engineering :o

Aditya
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: chrisild on August 07, 2010, 05:53:56 PM
As usual,I have some questions ;)
Fine, maybe "we" can put some answers together here. :)

Quote
Who designed the Third Reich's coins?
Depends on the coin of course. Yours was designed by Alfred Vocke (the side with the church) and Reinhard Kullrich (the side with the eagle). The dies were made by Kullrich (church) and Wilhelm Brüssow (eagle).

Quote
I read somewhere that Third Reich coins aren't so popular in Germany(for obvious reasons) and they are more actively collected in US.Is that true?
Nazi coins are definitely popular in the US (well, among those who collect non-US coins at all ;) ). In some cases it may be due to political affinity, but that is a small minority, I think. Most find them interesting in my opinion because that was the only time in history when Germany, from a US point of view, was not just some faraway country. It was the enemy in their last "glorious" war, and the coins do have emblems of the regime. Hard to describe without getting all too political.

My own collection focuses of coins from this country. That is the Federal Republic of Germany, founded in 1949. Now I do have quite a few older pieces - from the Holy Roman Empire (very few), and also from the German Reich 1871-1949 (Monarchy, Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, Allied Occupation). Just not that many ...

Christian
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: chrisild on August 07, 2010, 06:14:53 PM
At the start of the Third Reich in 1933 there was a ceremonial handshake between President Paul von Hindenburg and the new Chancellor Adolf Hitler on 21 March 1933 in Potsdam's Garrison Church in what became known as the "Day of Potsdam". This symbolized a coalition of the military (Reichswehr) and Nazism.

There is more symbolism to that. :) That church was also the burial place of some Prussian kings, e.g. Frederick the Great. Shortly before that "Day of Potsdam", the Reichstag building (house of the parliament in Berlin) caught fire due to arson. Whoever did that, it was a welcome opportunity to further restrict democratic rights. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire

Now the parliament needed a new location. Its first session was at that Garrison Church; later sessions were at the Kroll Opera building in downtown Berlin. (How appropriate - after all, in Nazi Germany, the parliament was basically a show ...)

The Garrison Church in Potsdam burned down in the last weeks of WW2, and the remnants were torn down in the late 1960s. Just as Hitler used this symbol of Prussian militarism to support his regime, the GDR regime wanted it to go for the same reason. Currently there is a private initiative to rebuild the church from scratch. No idea whether they get the funds for that.

The edge inscription of the coin, by the way, is "Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz" which means something like "Public need before private greed". That motto is much older than the nazi regime, and used in many variations (ever heard "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"? ;) ). But in Nazi Germany it soon got the meaning that the individual did not really count ...

Christian
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Prosit on August 07, 2010, 06:25:01 PM
Here is my example of the church...in my opinion not nearly as attractive as the 1933 2RM.
Dale
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Figleaf on August 07, 2010, 06:37:56 PM
I think Christian has described it quite well. I found in the US the same fascination with the second world war as in Britain and the USSR. In the US, there is even a TV channel devoted entirely to showing wartime footage (known as the "Hitler channel"). I agree with Christian that it has to do with longing for simple times with good guys and bad guys and hitting the bad guys until they cry uncle. It wouldn't be the last simple war for the US, as the Korean war was of a similar character, except that the bad guys didn't cry uncle. Grenada obviously doesn't count.

Meanwhile, I would say that the market for these pieces is in Germany, not the US, simply because the vast majority of coin collectors tend to collect the coins of their own country or Roman coppers.

Peter
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Prosit on August 07, 2010, 06:45:59 PM
I can tell you that in the US Movies, TV, Books, Magazines, Comics and cartoons all romantized and sanitized WWII, neatly packaged it and shoved it down our throats and as a kid I was not immune.  I was facinated by the subject and still am.  The theme certainly was good triumphs over evil.  Well, the line between the two is not so clear cut as it used to be...ok as it never actually was in most cases.

I loved Sgt Rock comics.

Dale
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: chrisild on August 07, 2010, 06:54:41 PM
As for that "Last Glorious War", well, what I had in mind was that pretty much every war afterwards was either part of the East-West conflict (the Korean War was probably viewed quite differently in the USSR) or "not great" for other reasons (see the Balkans or Iraq). In that sense, WW2 was the last war that pretty much everybody regarded as "the right thing". Also, the presence of regime-specific emblems is an important factor. Unfortunately - at least for those collectors - there are no coins depicting Hitler. ;)

As for the coin with the church alone, that was a circulation piece. They simply used the design of the commem but left the date out. Problem was that the huge empty area was then used by some to add political (anti-nazi) slogans. Apparently, according to the Jaeger catalog, the Reichsbank first refused to accept such pieces, as they had been "altered". But then the pieces would have continued to circulate - something that the regime was not really interested in. Don't know how many pieces had been modified that way ...

Christian
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Figleaf on August 07, 2010, 06:56:20 PM
I think "Band of brothers" did an excellent job of showing it like it was. It moved me.

Peter
Title: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Bimat on August 07, 2010, 07:01:00 PM
Problem was that the huge empty area was then used by some to add political (anti-nazi) slogans. Apparently, according to the Jaeger catalog, the Reichsbank first refused to accept such pieces, as they had been "altered"..
How did they do that? Counter stamping?  ??? It'd be interesting to see such a coin..

Aditya
Title: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Bimat on August 07, 2010, 07:15:38 PM
BTW,thanks for the information and the historic background,Christian (and others)! :)

@ Dale:
I have got similar 5 Reichsmark piece,but yours is in much better condition than mine ;D The surface of coin I have got is oxidized.. :'(

Aditya
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Prosit on August 07, 2010, 10:39:42 PM
It scanned pretty good but it has LOTS of bag marks on it and I would say someone cleaned it a while back.  I have had it at least 10 years so it was cleaned before that.  This coin represents yet another of my projects I failed to finish.  I always meant to search for a less bag marked piece but never did.

Dale



@ Dale:
I have got similar 5 Reichsmark piece,but yours is in much better condition than mine ;D The surface of coin I have got is oxidized.. :'(
Aditya
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Prosit on August 07, 2010, 10:42:57 PM
I liked it a lot.  I suspect that if you intensify the action parts of that movie another 10X and had long preiods of complete and total boredom in between you would have a fair representative of reality.

Dale

I think "Band of brothers" did an excellent job of showing it like it was. It moved me.

Peter
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: chrisild on August 07, 2010, 11:12:19 PM
As for those added slogans on the 5 RM coin, guess they were simply scratched into the pieces. And of course it would be hard or impossible to "prove" that a coin got its graffiti in the 1930s, and not just a few years ago. So there is no added value from a collector's point of view. I just find it amusing that the central bank first would not accept them (obviously for political reasons - a few scratches are hardly an alteration) and then has to ... :)

Christian
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Prosit on August 07, 2010, 11:15:11 PM
And had to accept them for the same reasons the didn't acept them (politics).
I find that amusing too.
Dale

As for those added slogans on the 5 RM coin, guess they were simply scratched into the pieces. And of course it would be hard or impossible to "prove" that a coin got its graffiti in the 1930s, and not just a few years ago. So there is no added value from a collector's point of view. I just find it amusing that the central bank first would not accept them (obviously for political reasons - a few scratches are hardly an alteration) and then has to ... :)

Christian
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: FosseWay on November 04, 2010, 04:03:11 PM
As for those added slogans on the 5 RM coin, guess they were simply scratched into the pieces. And of course it would be hard or impossible to "prove" that a coin got its graffiti in the 1930s, and not just a few years ago. So there is no added value from a collector's point of view. I just find it amusing that the central bank first would not accept them (obviously for political reasons - a few scratches are hardly an alteration) and then has to ... :)

As a (non-German) example of political graffiti on coins, this example (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/iVUVhaKVREWjsHrr9IoOOA) may interest you, a UK penny defaced with the words VOTES FOR WOMEN across the king's head, which featured in the BBC Radio 4 series 'The history of the world in 100 objects'. I believe UK coinage was defaced in a similar way by Irish nationalists during the War of Independence (1920-22).
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Figleaf on November 04, 2010, 05:35:48 PM
The seventies, rather, but correct in principle (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,1461.0.html).

Peter
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: FosseWay on November 04, 2010, 05:57:09 PM
I hadn't realised that kind of thing had gone on during the Troubles, though it doesn't surprise me. But I did mean the earlier period -- I'm sure I've seen pictures of George V coppers defaced with the letters IRA or various other pro-independence slogans. I think they were illustrated in a book on the War of Independence which I can't now lay my hands on. From the same period came a custom among pro-independence Irish people of deliberately sticking postage stamps on letters upside down as a disrespect to the king (whose effigy was on the stamp). I don't know whether this was also done in the 1970s/80s.
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Luis on January 01, 2011, 12:24:21 AM
Ahh, Christian, the fact that the church was torn down is pretty sad :-( If my memory serves me, there's an important monument in Dresden that was rebuilt after the war, so maybe they do the same with this church.

Aditya, I am also of the opinion that dipping the coin in acetone will almost surely remove that yellow stuff. Might be worth a try.

Finally, is there a reason why the Third Reich coins have no portraits? I mean, did Hitler ever declared to be against that, for example?
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: chrisild on January 01, 2011, 11:27:01 AM
Don't know whether that Garrison Church should be rebuilt. As for Dresden, guess you mean the Frauenkirche (Lady's Church) in the old town - that was a little different. The ruins had been a monument for peace and reconciliation for a long time; the GDR even issued a 5 Mark coin, to commemorate the bombing of Dresden, which depicts that monument. (http://www.muenzauktion.com/mages/pic/artid433_combined.jpg)

At that time, in 1985, there had even been plans to rebuild the church, also because many of the original material (which was still in and around the memorial) had begun to deteriorate. And quite a few in the GDR, even in the government, now had a different approach - at least the "important" old buildings in "important" cities were to be rebuilt. Whether the Lady's Church would have been a top priority, I don't know though.

The Garrison Church in Potsdam ... if they want to demonstrate what an important role the military had in Prussia, maybe they should build one again. As long as they do not spend my tax money on that, fine with me.

As for portraits on nazi coinage, well, shortly after Hindenburg died, Nazi Germany began issuing circulation coins with his portrait. Millions of Hindenburg 2 and 5 RM coins were made, for several years, until WW2 began. Guess that was a welcome reminder of how "legitimate" the new regime was, since Hindenburg was the president who appointed Hitler.

Don't think that Hitler was against the idea of having a Hitler portrait on coins - after all, many medals, donation tokens and postal stamps had his mug. However, when he started the war, it would have been too costly to issue millions of silver (or even gold) coins featuring the Führer. The alternative would have been to put him on a "cheap metal" piece; guess he would not have appreciated that. So the official idea was to have Hitler coins after the "final victory" ...

Christian
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Luis on January 01, 2011, 06:42:46 PM
Thanks for the reply.

Here's a picture of what it looks now:
(http://www.sights-and-culture.com/Germany/Frauenkirche-Dresden-6617.jpg)

http://www.sights-and-culture.com/Germany/dresden-frauenkirche.html (http://www.sights-and-culture.com/Germany/dresden-frauenkirche.html)

Dresden will definitely be a priority whenever I visit Germany for the first time.
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Figleaf on January 01, 2011, 07:02:49 PM
There must be a few of those war-ruined churches around in Western Europe. I remember seeing one in Berlin, Coventry and Hannover. The problem is that while they were probably stark reminders to those who had seen the destruction, they become less and less significant to younger generations. The exhibition in the Gedächtniskirche in Berlin is quite poignant so it may well be an exception, but in other places, the case for reconstruction may get stronger every year.

Peter
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: translateltd on January 01, 2011, 07:15:07 PM
I saw the shell of Coventry Cathedral when  I was about three, and was really spooked by it.  The memory has stayed with me ever since.  Would be interesting to see if it still has that effect on the very young.

Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: chrisild on January 01, 2011, 07:44:47 PM
Time did not come to a screeching halt when these buildings were destroyed. In Dresden the site was empty (apart from the ruins) and much of the original material was there. The dome of the Frauenkirche was one of the reasons why Dresden got that Elbflorenz nickname - Florence on the Elbe. And of course the church is part of a unique architectural ensemble.

In many cases, however, new buildings were erected that replaced the destroyed ones. They would have to be torn down and make place for copies of pre-WW2* architecture. In Berlin for example the Palace of the Republic - of the GDR, that is - was torn down so that the old City Castle can be built from scratch again. If the Berliners were willing to pay for that Disney castle themselves, I would not really care much; it's their city. But no, as that is the federal capital, about half a billion will be federal funds ...

* Apparently buildings that were destroyed by previous wars are not really taken into consideration when it comes to re-building the past. Could have something to do with the memory and the significance you mentioned.

Christian
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: Luis on January 01, 2011, 08:10:30 PM
It's a difficult problem. I think if one is cynic enough, one can simply say "Oh, it's just a building - just stones on top of stones" and not make an effort to tens to any old stuff at all. As a matter of fact, if it weren't for tourism, that's probably what would happen in most cases.

The other extreme is equally unreasonable, which is that of diverting limited funds and resources to re-building and tending to every single bit of culture laying around. Sometimes the course of history just dictates that old building need to be replaced with new ones.

My perception is that WW2 was more devastating in those terms than previous wars. Or it might just be the case that after previous wars there weren't enough resources and reasons to recuperate ruins in lieu of more practical and urgent matters. That and the fact that it was the last war in Europe makes this focus on stuff destroyed in WW2 seem reasonable to me.
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: chrisild on January 09, 2011, 03:16:18 PM
My perception is that WW2 was more devastating in those terms than previous wars. Or it might just be the case that after previous wars there weren't enough resources and reasons to recuperate ruins in lieu of more practical and urgent matters. That and the fact that it was the last war in Europe makes this focus on stuff destroyed in WW2 seem reasonable to me.

Definitely agreed. In the case of places that were in the GDR (East G. 1949-90), there may be one more reason: Some buildings that had been partly or mostly destroyed in WW2 were later torn down, even in the 1960s. One possible reason is that they did not have the funds for a reconstruction. But many buildings affected were reminders of the "monarchist-clerical-bourgeois" past. Later the GDR regime changed its attitude to some extent, and "important" historic buildings were preserved or even rebuilt. But some were already gone.

In many cases it obviously makes sense, as far as architecture and the "identity" of a place are concerned, to rebuild them. But my impression is that, in a few other cases, political considerations also play a role: The communist GDR regime tore the (remnants of the) city castle in Berlin down and built its Palace of the Republic there instead, so let's tear that "palace" down now and build an "new castle" with historic facades instead.

As for the "lack" of Hitler portraits on coins, maybe what happened to the Garrison Church coin also influenced the decision against putting him on coins. People might have altered the pieces ... and while stamps stop "circulating" once they have been used, coins usually stay in circulation for quite a while. Just a guess though. There had actually been a design competition in 1941, for new 2 and 5 RM coins. Twelve artists participated and submitted several designs for coins with Hitler's portrait. The winner of the contest was the sculptor Hermann Müller-Erfurt, but as I wrote, production was to begin after WW2 ...

Christian
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: FosseWay on January 11, 2011, 10:03:21 AM
AFAIK there were no circulation coins for the Soviet Union with Stalin's head on them, either, and I suspect for similar reasons. Both states were not monarchies in the traditional sense, and wanted to perpetuate the convenient fiction that they were legitimate republics, where the entire lawmaking apparatus was bigger than the one man at the top. To have put Hitler or Stalin on the coins in the same way as the British put George VI or the Italians Vittorio Emanuele would have undermined this window-dressing. (I agree that having Hitler on the stamps seems a little contradictory; again, AFAIK, in the Soviet Union this didn't happen with Stalin.) I suspect Hitler might have eventually appeared on commemorative coins, such as a significant birthday of his or a significant anniversary of his rule, but these obviously never came to pass in peacetime.
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: <k> on January 11, 2011, 05:26:29 PM
Both states...wanted to perpetuate the convenient fiction that they were legitimate republics, where the entire lawmaking apparatus was bigger than the one man at the top.

Given that the Nazi constitution claimed "The Fuehrer's will is law", and that Hitler regarded the state as subordinate to himself and his party, I can't agree with that. He had no problem with his portrait appearing on the stamps of Germany, Poland, and Bohemia and Moravia, so I doubt he would have had any problem if it had appeared on coins. I've read that he was simply not satisfied with the portraits prepared for coins. How true that is, I don't know.

The Soviets, even under Stalin, would definitely have wanted to be seen as legalistic and not operating a dictatorship of any form. Stalin always took the trouble to show that he believed (whether he did or not) that all his actions were in line with the tenets of Lenin. He regarded his legitimacy as coming from Lenin. Hitler recognised no such predecessor.

From memory, I believe the Czechoslovaks issued a commemorative coin portraying Stalin (was it before his death?), but I cannot think of any other country that did so.
Title: Re: A Third Reich Commemorative
Post by: chrisild on January 11, 2011, 06:37:47 PM
Whether Hitler appreciated his portrait I don't know. As I wrote, Müller-Erfurt's design won the 1941 competition. His design had to be modified as Hitler wanted some details to be changed. But the coin was never issued.

Right, Czechoslovakia had two coins (same design (http://worldcoingallery.com/countries/img11/51-30.jpg)) featuring Stalin in 1949. They were issued to celebrate his 70th birthday, and yes, he was alive then. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the WW2 victory, Russia issued a 100 ruble silver coin (1 kilo, diameter 10 cm) in 2005 which indirectly (http://web.archive.org/web/20070104143124/http://www.cbr.ru/bank-notes_coins/base_of_memorable_coins/img/5117-0027R.gif) shows Stalin too.

Christian