Author Topic: Wow  (Read 295 times)

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Offline gpimper

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Wow
« on: April 27, 2019, 02:48:41 AM »
So Figleaf sent Catie a batch of coins...here is one of the coolest (Catie had me post it :-)  We are loving them!  So much history!  She has put coins on our world map and took pictures.  She'll post...pretty impressive!
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Wow
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2019, 05:04:12 AM »
That 2 pfennig is a piece of history indeed. The old order is still there. The oldest continually used element is that small letter A at 6 o'clock on the longer picture. It dates from the time that Prussia became increasingly stronger and bigger. As it gobbled up small German states, it acquired more and more mints. To keep them apart, they give them a letter in alphabetic order, starting with their capital, Berlin. A few of these letters (A, D, F, G, J) still figure on German euro coins, but A is a bit special. During the cold war, Berlin was divided in four pieces, three of them under a joint administration, one incorporated in East Germany. Coins with an A were East German in those days.

The A is flanked by oak leaves. The oak is a symbol of strength and power. This symbol came in fashion during the process of unification. You will find a woman planting on a post-war 50 pfennig piece. The young plant is an oak tree. It symbolises the re-birth of a nation ruined by nazism. The eagle is much older as a symbol. When Germany was a loose federation, it claimed to be the successor of the Roman empire and it used a spread double-headed eagle as a symbol. In the time of unification, that symbol was left to Austria and Germany started using the Prussian single-headed black eagle as its own emblem. It became fashionable as a republican icon in 1919, when Germany became a republic.

So far, it's all history. However, in 1933, Germany had become a totalitarian state: it had a dictator, Hitler, who did not tolerate an opposition or even much criticism, let alone elections. His political beliefs were racist and militaristic. On your coin, the eagle has lost half its size to an attribute of the national socialist (nazi) movement,  a swastika. The nazi view of history was a romanticised and often deluded story centred on heroic and harsh Germanic warriors. Symbols and elements fitting into that view, like the swastika, were called Aryan. The script used is part of that attitude. It was considered to reflect the Germanic warrior tale.

The eagle with swastika and the script dominate the coin; they are the message of the coin. A more subtle message is that the coin has the same specifications (metal, weight, diameter) as its immediate predecessors. That message is that the new Germany could maintain the economy. The message was lost quickly as war broke out and the coins had to be made in zinc, as copper was needed in the war industry.

There are many important lessons to be learned from this period, such as how wrong and immoral e.g. dictatorship, racism, war and nationalism are. These lessons have still not been universally accepted.

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

Offline chrisild

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Re: Wow
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2019, 02:12:52 PM »
Not that this has anything to do with the depicted coin ;) but the German eagle, in the years of the Prussian-German Empire (1871-1918), was not the Prussian eagle. Those were two different birds - the eagle of the Reich's CoA had the Prussian bird in the center ...

Christian

Offline Prosit

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Re: Wow
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2019, 12:30:41 PM »
Just a side note in passing.
During 1939-1944 there were German coins with a "B" mint mark.
B = made in Vienna
Speaking only for myself, I find the B coins of more interest.

Question:
Krause says the E mint mark was used up till 1953...what coins after 1945 had an E mint mark?

Dale

Offline redlock

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Re: Wow
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2019, 01:49:00 PM »
Question:
Krause says the E mint mark was used up till 1953...what coins after 1945 had an E mint mark?

Some of East Germany's (aka Deutsche Demokratische Republik) 1, 5 and 10 Pfennig coins were minted at the mint in Muldenhütten (mint-mark ''E'').

Offline gpimper

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Re: Wow
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2019, 04:04:33 AM »
redlock, I did not know that.  Not my area of expertise but I'm always happy to learn.  Thank you!
The Chief...aka Greg