Author Topic: Dictators on Coins  (Read 20644 times)

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Offline nomadbird

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Dictators on Coins
« on: March 14, 2011, 03:15:21 AM »
Hi all

Has anyone attempted to do this thematic collection and how many dictator's are available on the coins ?

Thanks
Nirmal
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 05:23:54 AM by translateltd »
Thx
Nomadbird

Offline <k>

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 11:36:00 AM »
First you need to define what you mean by dictator. From the 1920s to the 1940s, many European countries were not democracies. Of these, some were governed by totalitarians such as Hitler and Mussolini. Others were governed by the traditional authoritarian right, such as Franco in Spain and Admiral Horthy in Hungary. Even here, though they were undemocratic, Horthy was considered as reasonably enlightened, whilst Franco, who had to fight a civil war, is definitely considered a brutal dictator. And this is just to consider Europe over a short timescale, never mind the world.

As for the totalitarians, well, Hitler did not really want to appear on coins - he wanted to appear as a modest leader, selflessly struggling for Germany. There are one or two patterns (portraits of Hitler) that were prepared for him, but apparently they did not satisfy either him or the authorities. And after his death, there were no commemoratives of him for obvious reasons, though I did see one obvious "fantasy" in the 1980s. As for Mussolini, again, there are fantasies circulating that show his portrait, but no actual coins. The reason for this is that King of Italy was head of state, and it was HIS head that appeared on coins. In the end, it was the King who ultimately dismissed Mussolini from power in 1943 and had him arrested. Again, there are no commemoratives of Mussolini for obvious reasons, only post-war fantasies. If you want portraits of Hitler and Mussolini, you'd do best to collect stamps - see my Living Room topic Postage Stamps of World War 2.

Looking at wartime Europe, you could consider Admiral Horthy as a dictator, though hardly one of the worst. See my topic The Three Faces of Admiral Horthy.

As for General Franco of Spain, his rule lasted from the late 1930s to the mid 1970s, and you can find his portrait on coins. See my topic General Franco, "el caudillo", and a Spanish enigma.

I know that Stalin appeared on a couple of Czechoslovak coins in the late 1940s or early 1950s. I think Christian knows which ones they are - I don't offhand.

Then there were the dictators of the Nazi puppet or satellite states, such as Slovakia, who were put into power by Hitler - see my topic here.

Though the wartime king of Italy cannot be considered a dictator, there is an interestingly warlike portrait of him wearing a military helmet that appears on the coins of Italian-occupied Albania, which can be seen in another topic of mine: Italo-Albanian King, with and without helmet.

Post-war, President Marcos of the Philippines appears on a coin with President Reagan:



There are one or two Iraqi coins of the 1970s or 1980s that portray Saddam Hussein, but again I can't remember which ones off-hand. As for Africa, there are a few coins of the 1960s and 1970s that portray President Mobutu of Zaire/Democratic(!) Republic of Congo. That's all I can think of for now...
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 11:28:10 PM by coffeetime »

Offline chrisild

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 11:51:37 AM »
With Hitler it depends - initially he wanted to emphasize that his regime was "legal", ie. not established by a military coup. That is why Hindenburg, the president who appointed him, was depicted on coins shortly after he died. In later years, Hitler had no particular objections to being on a coin but wanted to wait until the "final victory". Also, ideas of depicting him on coins from an occupied territory (the "Generalgouvernement" in Poland) were soon discarded because Hitler wanted his mug to be on German Reich coins first, not some "peripheral" place ...

Then again, Stalin did not appear on USSR coins either but was indeed depicted on "satellite" coinage such as the 1949 commems from Czechoslovakia. In Spain, Franco (the "Caudillo by the grace of God") was shown - in Portugal, Salazar was not. Also, if a dictatorship does not have one "central figure" but a junta, it is less likely that the dictators are depicted - see Greece after the formal end of the monarchy. In my opinion, a collector who wants to pursue such a project should make a list of "suitable" dictators first, or at least have some criteria, before starting such a collection.

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 11:56:49 AM »
In my opinion, a collector who wants to pursue such a project should make a list of "suitable" dictators first, or at least have some criteria, before starting such a collection.

Christian

Yes, and do you want portraits of the dictators that were issued when they were still alive - or, as in the case of Lenin, commemoratives after their death? Do you want coins issued by the dictator's own country, like the coins of Franco on Spanish coins? Or coins issued by another country, such as the Czechoslovak coins that portray Stalin, dictator of the USSR?

« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 02:12:43 PM by coffeetime »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 12:07:53 PM »
Another problem would be that dictator started out as a positive term: a Roman leader in times of war. You could probably call each and every Roman emperor a dictator. The Middle Ages knew only dictatorships, from Hengist and Horsa to Louis the pious. In the Renaissance, there were two well-known republics: Venice and the Netherlands (plus some German free cities.) In practice, both were ruled by a limited number of families and their cronies.

Maybe dictatorship can be defined in terms of its opposite: not a parliamentary democracy. However, this would lead you in trouble elsewhere. For instance, China has a parliament and an opposition, except that the opposition may be a bit too loyal. Japan has a parliament and an opposition, except that only in the last few decades the opposition actually got into power. Can of worms.

You might think you could collect political murderers on coins. Even that is not without pitfalls. I would consider Napoléon Bonaparte as the greatest butcher of Frenchmen in history, with Louis XIV as the nearest competition. Most Frenchmen would disagree. Some people's freedom fighters are other people's terrorists. Kenyans will think of Jomo Kenyatta as a freedom fighter, while Britishers may link him with the indiscriminate death and torture spread by the Mau Mau.

In the end, maybe the best you can do is make your own definition of dictator and collect accordingly, but without hope that there is agreement on the title.

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

Offline nomadbird

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 07:39:33 PM »
In the end, maybe the best you can do is make your own definition of dictator and collect accordingly, but without hope that there is agreement on the title.

Peter

I wanted to try my hands on on a theme which is less chosen, but this topic by itslef brought much knowledge to me from the members. I have just started my collection(world coins) and was looking for a weird theme)

Thanks.
Thx
Nomadbird

Offline ciscoins

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 12:41:23 PM »
DPRK, 1 won 2000
Two dictators at one coin
Ivan
Moscow, Russia

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 11:14:35 PM »
How about this geezer?


Offline Figleaf

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2011, 12:10:55 AM »
I think you have just made collecting dictators prohibitively expensive ;)

Probably, any living president on a coin may be considered a dictator. Here is one who was beyond any reasonable doubt a dictator: Alfredo Stroessner. He may hold the record of number of types issued for the same 20th century dictator.

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

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2011, 12:38:03 PM »
DPRK, 1 won 2000
Two dictators at one coin

I had to read the inscription on the coin to work out who the one who isn't Kim Jong-Il is! Not a very good likeness of Vladimir Vladimirovich, in my opinion.

Offline <k>

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2011, 12:49:22 PM »
I had to read the inscription on the coin to work out who the one who isn't Kim Jong-Il is! Not a very good likeness of Vladimir Vladimirovich, in my opinion.

Admittedly the artistry is rather Pobjoy-Mintish, but it only took me a second or two to recognise the weasel-like face of Rasputin Putin.

To view a topic on what are claimed to be pattern pieces that portray Adolf Hitler, click on the link below:

Two "pattern" coins that portray Adolf Hitler - are they genuine?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 09:16:17 PM by coffeetime »

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2011, 01:49:01 PM »
Admittedly the artistry is rather Pobjoy-Mintish, but it only took me a second or two to recognise the weasel-like face of Rasputin Putin.

They've made him better-looking and less weaselly than real life. This is a better likeness:


Offline Bimat

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Dictators on Coins
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2011, 01:50:52 PM »
Hey that's a character in Harry Potter! (Part 2-Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets).. :D ;D

Aditya
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2011, 01:59:25 PM »
Hey that's a character in Harry Potter! (Part 2-Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets).. :D ;D

Aditya

Yes, Dobby the House Elf appears in several of the Harry Potter books and movies. I don't know how internationally widespread the opinion is that Putin looks like Dobby, but it was well ingrained in British popular culture when the second film came out. It was reported that Putin was Not Amused by the comments and the Russian ambassador to the UK lodged a formal protest. A slight failure to understand the concept of freedom of speech there, methinks, not to mention a serious sense of humour failure!

Offline <k>

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Re: Dictators on Coins
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2011, 05:15:12 PM »
Here is a 1000 dinar coin of 1980 from Yugoslavia. It celebrates the death of that evil dictator Tito, who used brutal force to keep Yugoslavia together, when really it just wanted to be seven different countries. Look what narrow, calculating, machinating eyes he has.

I have yet to see a commemorative of that much nicer dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, who broke up his country in order to give numismatists some new coin sets to collect.