Author Topic: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949  (Read 251 times)

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Offline Thruster853

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Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« on: December 03, 2020, 12:15:19 AM »

I seem to remember reading many years ago that in Poland the German occupation issue 4, 5, 10, 20, and 50 groszy coins remained in circulation for some years until the introduction of the new Communist issue in 1949/50. Can anyone confirm whether this was in fact the case?

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2020, 09:01:04 AM »
At the end of the second world war, Poland was a mess. The Katyn wood mass murders had robbed the country of its leaders and the Stalinist occupation brought more murders and chaos. In such circumstances, it makes sense that coinage is not the first priority. Widespread destruction, especially in Warszaw and deportation would have shrunk the economy significantly anyway, reducing the need for new coins.

Another question is what did circulate. The most likely answer is anything that was already there. That would include pre-war coins, occupation coins and possibly German wartime coins.

It may be helpful to compare the situation in the Netherlands, where destruction was equally widespread, but the population was far less affected. The first new coins appeared only in 1948. Large silver coins did not re-surface and were eventually withdrawn and replaced by banknotes. What circulated was a mix of pre-war coins and occupation coins.

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

Offline brandm24

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Re: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2020, 11:46:55 AM »
That begs the question: Were there any private coins or paper issued ? Similar to Conders or US Civil War tokens. The times seemed ripe for such a thing.

Bruce
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2020, 02:30:43 PM »
The Dutch experience is that there was no such need: the nazis withdrew the pre-war coins, but only around 10% were exchanged*. The bronze and low grade silver coins re-surfaced after the war.

The only catalogue I know covering Polish tokens is Katalog Monet Zastepczych by Janusz Parchimowicz. The earliest listing is 2004.

For the sake of completeness. Some nazi camps (of all descriptions) issued token banknotes. I very much doubt these were accepted anywhere outside the camp of issue.

Peter

* With the exception of the 2½ cent pieces, because many of those were "locked up" in gas meters. See also my talk on Dutch gas meter tokens linked to here.
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline stef

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Re: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2020, 06:58:41 PM »
I seem to remember reading many years ago that in Poland the German occupation issue 4, 5, 10, 20, and 50 groszy coins remained in circulation for some years until the introduction of the new Communist issue in 1949/50. Can anyone confirm whether this was in fact the case?
The banknotes were withdrawn in January-February 1945. The coins remained in circulation. According to the Polish Wikipedia until the reform of 1950. Except 50 groszy - withdrawn in 1942 due to many fakes. But they were not strictly occupational - minted before the war and put in circulation on 26 August 1939.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2020, 08:15:30 PM »
Interesting, Stef. But what would have taken the place of the withdrawn banknotes?

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

Offline stef

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Re: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2020, 08:38:51 PM »
Interesting, Stef. But what would have taken the place of the withdrawn banknotes?

Peter
New Polish notes (24 August 1944, printed in USSR), gradually, following the libaration of the territory. The soviet ruble was legal (1 : 1) too.

Offline Thruster853

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Re: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2020, 08:41:08 PM »
Thank you for your replies and comments. This was, from a numismatic perspective, an interesting period in Europe. I am sure I read somewhere of someone even finding a Lodz Ghetto token in his change in Poland shortly after the war though I can't find the source now. Also I had not realised before that the 50 groszy of 1938 had been minted before the war and released into circulation on the eve of the conflict. The remaining zinc occupation issues were made using old dies, but I have always wondered why the Nazis, with their ubiquitous racial hatred allowed Polish inscriptions and symbols on coins they issued when they were at the same time issuing propaganda saying that Poland had ceased to exist. The same goes for other occupied territories where coins with national symbols and inscriptions were produced under the heel of the jackboot.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2020, 09:52:19 PM »
Coinage in central Poland was the responsibility of the Governor-General of the Reichs-Nebenland as a second rate part of the nazi state, in fact an occupied territory. The West was integrated (eingegliederte Ostgebiete) in the nazi state, the East in the Soviet Union and each used the coins of their occupying power. After the nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the Soviet part minus Bialystok was covered by the Reichskommisar Ostland (otherwise the occupied Baltic states and Belarus). Bialystok was assigned to the Governor-General. There was no centralised policy for the occupied territories. Every sub-dictator could do his own thing.

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

Offline stef

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Re: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2020, 07:39:33 PM »
I also wonder why the Nazis allowed new coins with the pre-war name "Polish Republic". BTW, Białystok district was not part of the General Governorate and used Reichsmark as currency.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Poland early post WWII coinage before 1949
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2020, 11:10:03 PM »
From the nazi government's POV, those territories ("Generalgouvernement") were temporary, I think. The idea was to deport and ultimately kill the Jewish population, while the others living in the area could usually stay but had to do forced labor, did not have much to eat ... At some point "after the war" they would have become second class citizens in an area populated by Germans. And then that "Polish money" - including the paper money issued by the Bank Emisyjny w Polsce - could have become superfluous.

Christian