Author Topic: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948  (Read 657 times)

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Offline <k>

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German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« 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. East Prussia was lost to Germany and largely split between Poland and Russia.

Meanwhile, there were mass expulsions of ethnic Germans from countries such as Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Thousands of Germans died, and millions fled to the reduced territory of Germany proper.

Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2019, 07:40:31 PM »


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.

France also occupied and administered the Saar Protectorate from 1947 to 1956.

Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #2 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.




Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #3 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.

Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #4 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.

Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2019, 07:53:45 PM »
The zinc 10 pfennig coin was issued from 1945 to 1948, inclusive.

Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2019, 07:55:23 PM »
The zinc 5 pfennig coin did not appear until 1947. It was last issued in 1948.

Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #7 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.

Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #8 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?

Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #9 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".

Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #10 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, 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.

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Offline chrisild

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #12 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

Offline <k>

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #13 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.

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Re: German coinage of the Allied occupation, 1945 to 1948
« Reply #14 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!