Germany’s Funny Money

After World War I began and the imperial German government withdrew coins from circulation, local municipalities and businesses printed their own “emergency money” featuring striking imagery from German history, culture, and politics.

We usually remember the interwar German inflation in its critical phase — the hyperinflation that lasted from 1922 to 1923. In fact, the mark had started its decline in 1914, when the imperial government began printing money to pay for World War I. A parallel shortage of small change occurred at the same time, as the […]

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