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Volksmark (WWII Backwards)

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Volksmark
10VMFront 10VMBack
Obverse of 10 Volksmark (1933)Reverse of 10 Volksmark (1933)
ISO 4217 code VM
Central bank Volksnationalbank
Official user(s) People's Republic of Germany
Unofficial user(s) Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania
Subunit
 1/100 Volkspfennig
Symbol VM
 Volkspfennig vpf
Nickname Mark
Plural Volksmark
 Volkspfennig Volkspfennig
Coins 1,5,10,20,50 volkspfennig, 1,5 volksmark
Banknotes 10,20,50,100 volksmark
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

The Volksmark (sign: VM) was the currency of the People's Republic of Germany. The Volksmark was divided into 100 Volkspfennig. The Mark is an ancient Germanic unit of weight, traditionally used in coinage. Therefore, the name "Volksmark" literally means "People's Money".

History

The Volksmark was introduced in 1920 as a permanent replacement for the Papiermark. This was done in part as a form of proof that the new Communist German government was a different entity than the former German Empire, and thus was no longer subject to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The exchange rate between the old Papiermark and the new Volksmark was 1 VM = 1,000,000 Papiermark. As a planned economy, the Volksmark was effectively immune to the effects of the Great Depression.

Aftermath of World War II

After the Treaty of Moscow was signed, Germany found itself in possession of five states it liberated from Veep Russia: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. Per the terms of the Treaty of Moscow, the allied powers were not allowed to annex any states liberated from Veep Russia. Germany got around this though by illegally manipulating local elections to ensure that the local communist parties would come into power. This formed a de facto collection of satellite states answerable only to Berlin. As a show of "Communist Solidarity", all currencies of the five satellite states were pegged at a set rate to the German Volksmark:

State Value in VM
Bulgarian Lev
Czechoslovakian Koruna
Hungarian Forint
Polish Zloty
Romanian Leu

Coins

In 1933 coins were struck in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 Volkspfennig and 1 and 5 Volksmark. All coins were struck in aluminum, with the 1 and 5 Volkspfennig coins plated in bronze and the 1 and 5 Volksmark coins plated in brass. From 1939-1946 all coins were struck in zinc, allowing copper and aluminum stores to be reserved for the war effort.

Series 1933

Image Value Description
Composition Obverse Reverse
1vpf 1 Volkspfennig  Bronze plated Aluminum  Mint year, National Emblem of the People's Republic of Germany  Denomination 
5vpf 5 Volkspfennig  Bronze plated Aluminum  Mint year, National Emblem of the People's Republic of Germany  Denomination 
10vpf 10 Volkspfennig  Aluminum  Mint year, National Emblem of the People's Republic of Germany  Denomination 
20vpf 20 Volkspfennig  Aluminum  Mint year, National Emblem of the People's Republic of Germany  Denomination 
50vpf 50 Volkspfennig  Aluminum  Mint year, National Emblem of the People's Republic of Germany  Denomination 
1VM 1 Volksmark  Brass plated Aluminum  Mint year, National Emblem of the People's Republic of Germany  Denomination 
5VM 5 Volksmark  Brass plated Aluminum  Mint year, National Emblem of the People's Republic of Germany  Denomination 

Banknotess

The first Volksmark banknotes were introduced by the Volksnationalbank in 1920, in denominations of ½, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 1000 Volksmark. This was followed by the series of 1933, in denominations of 10, 20, 50, and 100 Volksmark. The 1000 Volksmark banknote was eliminated completely, while the smaller denominations were relegated to coinage. The series of 1933 was the most well known in the west due to the effects of World War II. Once the Cold War started, though, German currency became harder to come by outside the nation's borders.

Series 1933 banknotes had unchanged colors from the first series of 1920, but more detail and security features were added and the designs underwent significant changes. Political leaders were chosen to be portrayed on the obverse of each banknote -- two male and two female, representing the German "Double Leader Policy". The architectural features on the notes' reverses were well-known landmarks in 1930's Berlin.

Series 1933

Image Value Description
Obverse Reverse Dimensions Main Color Secondary Color Obverse Reverse
10VMFront 10VMBack 10 Volksmark 140 x 70 mm Orange Brown  Clara Zetkin, cofounder of the German Communist Party  Berlin City Hall, site of the 1919 treaty creating the People's Republic of Germany 
20VMFront 20VMBack 20 Volksmark 152 x 82 mm Olive Green Blue  Rosa Luxemburg, first President of the People's Republic of Germany  Brandenburg Gate
50VM 50VMback 50 Volksmark 165 x 95 mm Gray Purple  Karl Liebknecht, first Chancellor of the People's Republic of Germany  Volkskammer building
100VMFront 100VMBack 100 Volksmark 177 x 108 mm Blue Green  Karl Marx, founder of modern Communism  Marx-Engels Monument

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