Nazi Coin

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by CoinOKC, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. CoinOKC

    CoinOKC Don't Drink The Kool-Aid

    I bought this coin yesterday. It's a 2-Mark silver coin minted in 1939 in Nazi Germany.

    Can anyone tell me a little bit of history on this coin? I would like to know how much silver it contains and also where it was minted.

    Considering it displays a swastika, it's the most atrocious coin in my collection, but also, at present, one of the most fascinating.

    One of the most despicable, darkest times in humankind is represented by this coin. It's a striking contrast when you compare it to the liberty and freedom represented by United States coinage.

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  3. CoinSwede

    CoinSwede New Member

    Historically, the United States has long taken pride in its democratic principles and its promotion of freedom. Yet, during the 1920s, American leaders developed the logic and rational for the United States to support right-wing dictators that contradicted the avowed rectitude of their public positions. In response to the revolutionary upheavals in Russia, China and Mexico, a persistent concern for order and stability merged with anti-communism and the desire to create an international trading system built on free trade. Beginning with such governments as Benito Mussolini's in Italy, Anastasio Somoza's in Nicaragua, and Fulgencio Batista's in Cuba, the United States came to support authoritarian governments that promised stability, anti-bolshevism and, most important, protection of American trade and investments.

    World War II led to a temporary abandonment of this policy, but with the emergence of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, once more, expediency overcame the American commitment to democracy, and the United States accepted and encouraged friendly, albeit brutal and corrupt allies who provided stability, support for American policies and a favorable atmosphere for American business. The belief that dictators were better than the communist regimes that usually replaced them (for U.S. reasons, at least) was the view of most politicians during this era.

    These views were supported by social scientists in the postwar years. Proponents of nation building and the moving of Third World nations through the "stages of economic growth" argued that stability and strong rule were a necessary stage of development. In 1959, the State Department concluded that "our experience with the more highly developed Latin American states indicates that authoritarianism is required to lead backward societies through their socio-economic revolutions," and that this would remain the case "for a long period."

    While this policy did provide for short-term gains and benefits for the United States, it created long-term instability and a political backlash against the United States. Right-wing dictators consistently resisted reforms urged upon them by the United States and created politically polarized societies that destroyed the political center. Eventually, the citizens of these societies created radical political movements and revolutions that brought to power, in nations such as Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua and Iran, the type of regimes the United States most opposed.

    One such revolution resulted in the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979 to the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, bringing down one of the United States' longest standing allies, and placing in power in Tehran a fanatically anti-American Islamic republic. Instead of seeing this disaster as the result of its own selfish, misplaced actions, the United States compounded the problem by returning to its old habits. As a means of countering Khomeini's regime, the United States began supporting Iran's enemy Iraq, without considering what the results might be.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    I'm not sure that the previous post had anything to do with answering the questions asked in any way at all. So let's not get off on a political tangent again.

    The coin you asked about weighed 8 gm an d was struck in .6250 silver with an ASW of .1607 oz. The obverse bears the bust of Hindenburg. It was struck at 7 different mints - but I can make out no mint mark on the reverse. Can you post a pick of the obverse ?
  5. sylvester

    sylvester New Member

    I actively collect coins from Nazi Germany. As many know i'm into collecting because of history and coins from 1930s-40s Germany fascinate me, firstly because they are a typical piece of fascist propaganda and secondly the alloy changes show the effect of war on the currency. British and US coinage of the period are relatively boring in comparison.

    Many people refuse to collect Nazi coinage as it is offensive to them and this is perfectly understandable, although i would like to point out that collecting the coinage for its important place in history doesn't mean you automatically like the ideas of the regime that issued it.
  6. antidote

    antidote New Member

    The coin is not responsible for any of the atrocities committed during the Nazi dictatorship!

    For more information on SWASTIKA/Hakenkreuz read:
  7. sylvester

    sylvester New Member

    Sadly many seem to think otherwise though.
  8. CoinOKC

    CoinOKC Don't Drink The Kool-Aid

    The coin isn't responsible for anything, but the swastika does REPRESENT the brutal Nazi regime. My hatred for all it stood for is not lessened by this innocent little coin, although I shudder to think where it's silver content may have come from. I'm tempted to wear the coin as a pendant as a reminder of the absolute evil of which men are capable. Better yet, I may melt it and use the silver to form a Star of David pendant.

    I think this is one of the reasons that I enjoy coin collecting so much. The historical aspect is so tremendous.

    Here's the obverse, GD... There is a small "A" to the left of Hindenburg's collar. Is that the mintmark? Thanks for the info on the silver content.

    Attached Files:


    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Yes that is the mint mark - Berlin, 26,855,000 struck. Values range from $2.50 in F to $15 in Unc.
  10. CoinOKC

    CoinOKC Don't Drink The Kool-Aid

    I paid $6.00... worth it to me just for the historical aspect... Thanks, GD!
  11. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    Interesting points to consider, but my immediate reaction is that all of this is "easy for you to say". The US has consistently been called upon to get people out of messes. Yes, some of those dictatorships you mention were pretty bad, but they were better that a worldwide Soviet empire. People forget how brital the Soviet system was.

    If the US is ultimately going to be called upon to enter World Wars that others start, then I think a little forward thinking is OK.

    Also, we (Amercians) are the ones who grew up with Soviet missiles pointed at us - most of the rest of the world did not.

    As for the Nazi coin, they are great mementos in my opinion. Not a bad souvenir for $6 but remember that they can be had much cheaper if you are going to add to your collection.
  12. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Supporter

    Well, those world wars were sixty to ninety years ago, and I find it somewhat strange when they are misused for political purposes in later years. Be it by those who try and use them to justify more recent wars ("we did the right thing in the early 1940s, so you have no right to doubt about our war in XY now"), be it by those who try and put anything in some crude perspective ("yeah, Germany did bad things but others do too"). But yes, of course the swastika on a German coin represents a deadly terror regime no matter how "innocent" the symbol originally was. If such a coin is kept for the atrocities it memorizes, we should also keep in mind that the year when it was minted, 1939, was also the year when Germany started WW2 by attacking Poland.

    Well, I for one collect those pieces simply because they are part of the history of my country - I also have pieces from the 1871-1918 Empire, from the "Weimar Republic", the communist German Democratic Republic, and the Federal Republic. But I understand many people deliberately collect - or, on the contrary, detest and avoid - the coins from Nazi Germany because of their historic significance.

    As for the composition, these 2 Reichsmark coins are Ag625 Cu375. (The 5 RM coins had a higher silver content.) Also, 1939 was the very last year when they were made. In 1951 the Federal Republic started issuing 2 mark (then Deutsche Mark) coins, but those were CuNi pieces.

  13. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    My point was that the US carried quite a bit of the burden during the Cold War period. Few countries (or people, I should say) expressed appropriate appreciation for this. Without US involvement, how long would Western Europe have remained free from of the Soviet Union? I for one think the Soviets were about asd bad as anything, so for me a Nazi coin is not too much different from a Soviet ruble. I have both in my collection.
  14. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    BTW - 60 years is the blink of an eye. A swastika coin is a great reminder of what happened in the lifetime of millions of people who are alive today. I am not just referring to Germany, but also other countries which perhaps could have done more. The attitudes that existed then still exist now in many cases.

    That is why coins can be such a great and important reminder of history.
  15. palindrome

    palindrome New Member

    Its unfoutunate that this nearly universal symbol was twisted by the nazi regime, swastikas can be found all over the world , from ancient stone carvings to indian cliff paintings, I also believe there are celtic coins struck with the symbol. As a study in paradox the symbol that was adopted by the nazi party can also be found in bhudist temples.
  16. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Supporter

    Don't know if this is the right place to discuss such questions, so if any of the moderators would like to edit this, go ahead ... Of course the USSR could have easily attacked and taken over most of Western Europe. But I don't think any responsible American politician seriously believed that such a war would not have had very serious consequences for the USA as well, even if it had pursued an isolationist policy.

    There has certainly been quite a lot of appreciation of the transatlantic partnership in Western Europe. But maybe the past two years have been a little sobering as far as the idea of being partners is concerned.

    A for sixty years being "the blink of an eye", well, that time span is also two or even three generations. Most Europeans, Americans, etc. were not born yet when WW2 ended, and of those who were actively involved in nazi crimes 60 to 70 years ago, even fewer people are still alive. In my opinion the alarming fact that nazi ideas, racism and xenophobia are not dead, and maybe even gain ground, also has to do with that. These days we see, hear and read numerous documentaries about 1945, but for obvious reasons it gets harder and harder to find witnesses who could talk about those times ...

    Talking about anniversaries, yesterday it was exactly 60 years ago that the city where I live was occupied. However, since it was the Western Allies - primarily Americans - and not the Red Army, it was not really an occupation but rather a liberation.

  17. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    This is my point exactly. This is why the USA took (and takes) an active role in world politics. It can not afford to sit by and see what happens, as many foreign countries have the luxury of doing. Of course there are honest disagreements on certain issues, but the US will always be more active than passive and that is what gets the US resented by some people.

    Yes, this month we are seeing some 60th anniversaries, since it was the end of the European war in April 45. Another piece of food for thought....there are precious few examples of US/Allied "occupation money" (other than MPCs) - and that says quite a bit. The Germans, for example, were issuing their own money in 48, even before the formal establishment of their new post-war govt. Not bad, if you ask me (both for the intentions of the "occupiers", and for the abilities/committment of the "occupied" to recover from the war).

    BTW - exactly what did Germany spend for money in May 45 through 48? I think I saw some bank money orders that circulated, but what else did they use?
  18. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Supporter

    Well, I can only speak for my own country (and I cannot even speak "for" it ...) but Germany has, for many years after 1949/55, had a difficult position regarding military missions. For obvious reasons, nobody - including the Germans - wanted them to have such an active role, in military terms. Nowadays that is different, and German military is actively involved in quite a few UN and NATO missions from Bosnia to Afghanistan.

    WW2 in Europe officially ended on 8 May 1945, but in most cities around here (what now is the state of North Rhine Westphalia) it was over a little earlier. I don't know how much cash was actually used in those times ... in Nazi Germany, prices for many goods were regulated anyway, and between the end of the war and the 1948 currency reform your money would not buy you much. During the occupation, the Reichsmark formally remained legal tender along with the notes issued by the Allied Military Authority - practically there was rationed food (as before), bartering and black markets. As far as I know, American cigarettes were the primary currency unit ;-)

    The 1948 currency reform in the tri-zone (US, UK, FR) was initiated by the Western allies, and not really the merit of the Germans. The first post-reform notes had been printed in the US and were then transported to and distributed in the three zones. Smaller cash remained valid at one tenth of the original value (ie. 10 Reichspfennig were good for 1 Pfennig), the money in savings accounts was worth less (100 RM -> 6.50 DM, I think). And "all of a sudden" people in the Western zones could simply buy things again ...

  19. sylvester

    sylvester New Member

    I agree Christian, but having said that we were so right to invade France in 1361, afterall they invaded us in 1066, it's only fair.* And where would Brittany be if we hadn't defended it? Look what happened when we stopped defending it! ;)

    *Dates not entirely accurate but you get the picture.
  20. antidote

    antidote New Member

    "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone" (Hopefully got the translation correct)

    I don't know, CoinOK, where you live and what nationality you are. Please go back in history, recall the years way back when US soldiers slaughtered the american indian nations just for economic reasons. No excuse for that. I do hope you have similar emotions about US coins from that long ago time. The silver and gold used for those coins were paid for with the blood of native inhabitants of the american continent. (Just one example)

    Interesting information:
  21. sylvester

    sylvester New Member

    History is very rarely fact but matters of opinion, some of them gain such a great consensus that they are accepted as facts.

    In the case antidote pointed out when contrasted to the case of WWII it falls down to the same old factor;

    "History shall be kind to me, for i intend to write it", the 'facts' of history are always written by the victors.
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