The camp, located near Weimar in Thuringia, Germany, opened in 1937 as KL-Ettersberg, changing its name to Buchenwald after just two weeks. Almost eight years later, the camp finally closed in April 1945, having claimed an estimated 55,000-60,000 victims. KL-Buchenwald had well over one hundred sub-camps and external kommandos, including Allendorf, Giessen,Jena and Rottleberode, some of which had their own specific camp scrip. Many of the sub-camps had their name over stamped onto the Buchenwald scrip.
Two varieties of note were produced. Type 1 notes are headed "SS-Standort-Kantine - Buchenwald", with a large twin "RM" print mark either side of a centralised value. Below this, "Wertmarke", a serial number and asterix are present. The denominations were 0.5RM, 1RM, 2RMand 3RM. The period type 1 notes have two slight variations, with the legs of the"M", in the "RM" print mark being present both in vertical and slanted form. Slight differences in the rounded or angular form of the "1" can also be found. All denominations should measure approximately 104x75mm. No watermarks should be present, but traces of fire damage may be. American forces who liberated the camp in April 1945, found bundles of the notes, some of which had been burned by the camp staff before the US troops arrived.
Type 2 notes were printed with a large diagonal "Aussenkommando" (outside work) marking. These were used in many of the Buchenwald sub-camps. The names of some of these camps were over stamped on the face of the notes, including known examples from Rottleberode, the most common, Schwerte (Ruhr) and Altenburg. The over stamp markings appear in different colours, namely red, blue, violet and black. Type 2 notes are the same size as the notes without Aussenkommando markings, also bear the asterix, serial number, value and "Wertmarke" markings, although the design differs from the type 1 examples. Serial numbers are generally four or five digits.