LITZMANNSTADT

Jews were forbidden to have real money, so they were issued Quittungen (receipts) instead. This created an absolute dissolution between the Aryans and the Jews, who would not even touch the same currency. The monetary system that was in place within the Litzmannstadt ghetto was very complex, with several different forms of currency. The receipts shown above, or Quittungen to call them correctly, were the closest to banknotes in appearance. Ration chits, produced in hundreds of different formats and three series of coins, with a total of eight variations were also produced.

Litzmannstadt Ghetto

The Nazis took whatever they wanted from the Jews, exchanging, at a very favourable rate, the almost worthless Quittungen for items of value or money. The Jews were then informed that they would have to pay for the running of the ghetto. In August 1940, the Bank for the Purchase of Valuable Objects and Clothing was opened on Ciesielska Street. Vast amounts of money went through the bank, as did many thousands of valuable objects.

Workers inside the ghetto were only to be paid in food, and the quantity and standard was not set. Chaim Rumkowski, the Chairman of the Judenrat within the Litzmannstadtghetto, issued various instruction"announcements", such as his November 1940 announcement that "healthy, strong young men aged 18-40 could get work outside of the ghetto, for which they will be paid. The cost for board will be deducted from their salary, afterwhich the balance can be sent to their families in the ghetto".

The ghetto was indeed a closed economy, yet this did not prevent the Germans from wanting to exert their control. The counterfeited pieces, produced by a man named Rauchberger, lacked the tiny security dot detail present on genuine examples - see the highlighted images above. Another glaring error made by Rauchberger was that he released his counterfeit pieces before the actual Zwei Mark Quittungen were released. Later, the Zwei Marks were demonetized and the occupants of the ghetto were instructed to exchange any remainingZwei Mark pieces.

An interesting note: the Quittungen were referred to as "Rumkis" by the ghetto inhabitants.

Litzmannstadt  Tokens