Inflation 1923

Article Index

Many people have heard the stories of people taking barrow loads of money in the form of these hyper-infltion issues with them to purchase something. The wheelbarrow was sometimes stolen, with the paper money just tossed all over the floor. The barrow was worth more than all the money in it! Below, is a lovely looking hyper-inflationary notgeld piece from Saulgau:


The 10 Billion mark note above is from Kaiserslautern and is valid until 1 April 1924. In the centre of the note (under BILLIONEN MARK) is the date of issue, 10 Oktober 1923.


The German Inflation period, depicted by the 'egg story'

The price of an egg:

At the end of WWI, a housewife had to pay 25 pfennigs for an egg.

She could do this with one small coin from her purse.

Four years later - in the autumn of 1922 - she already had to take many notes from her purse to pay the price of 180 marks.

In November 1923 when inflation reached its peak, she had to bring a big basket full of notes to pay 80 Billion Marks (80,000,000,000,000) for one egg!

In 1918 you would have got 320 Billion eggs for 80 Billion marks, enough to give every inhabitant of Germany an egg for breakfast for 10,000 years!!! 

............................ABSOLUTELY MIND-BLOWING!!



Some famous names and companies issued hyper-inflationary notgeld issues. The company 'Carl Zeiss'......a German manufacturer of optical systems, lenses and industrial measurement and medical devices, founded in Jena, Germany, in 1846 by optician Carl Zeiss, issued the notgeld below. Carl Zeiss was born in 1816 and died 1888 and is buried in Jena, the town of issue.............


Jena CarlZeiss


Nearly everyone will have heard about the famous German Steiff teddy bears. Below is a banknote from Giengen and issued for the company..... with the teddy-bear logo:




Most of these notes issued by companies would be for 1 single company name The following piece from Hamburg, however, was issued by some Insurance corporations or companies from Hamburg - see the names on the reverse side......




Here is a nice note for a collector - an inflationary notgeld from Haslach, Hausach, Schiltach & Wolfach with hand-written serial number! The note also has, unusually, 4 different signatures for the 4 burgermeisters (mayors) of the 4 towns/villages.