German Money

To the list,

I am from Nebraska and I have a question. I was married to a lady from
Germany who was born in 1933. She told this story several times and I am
wondering the validity:

Her parents once bought a home from a man one day and very shortly (the
next day or so) the German currency was changed. The story goes that
her parents had a home and the man had worthless money. The man would
walk by and look at the home, shake his head and sometimes weep years

Can anyone substantiate this? Could something like this have happened?
If true, it might pin point for me when they bought the home and where
some of her siblings were born. Thank you---- Bob

Ich komme aus Nebraska, und ich habe eine Frage. Ich war mit einer Frau
aus Deutschland verheiratet, 1933 geboren wurde. Sie erz�hlte diese
Geschichte mehrere Male und ich wundere mich die G�ltigkeit:

Ihre Eltern einmal kaufte ein Haus von einem Mann eines Tages und sehr
kurz (weitergesetzt Tag oder so) die deutsche W�hrung wurde ge�ndert. Die
Geschichte besagt, dass ihre Eltern ein Haus hatten und der Mann
wertloses Geld hatte. Der Mann w�rde Fu� durch und betrachten die Heimat,
sch�tteln den Kopf und manchmal Jahre sp�ter zu weinen.

Kann jemand dies belegen? So etwas wie dies geschehen konnte? Wenn wahr,
es anheften k�nnte Punkt f�r mich, wenn sie das Haus gekauft und wo
einige ihrer Geschwister geboren wurden. Danke---Bob


I will make a wild guess. But I do not think that this
has anything to do with German money.

Have you ever heared of the world economic crisis back
in 1929? Things are just repeating these days.

Nothing (much) different happend then.

Wherever there is a problem; I can not see it.


--- Original Nachricht ---
am 01.04.2013 23:12

Hello Bob,

that was probably the time of the hyperinflation (1922/23):

Germany went through its worst inflation in 1923. In 1922, the highest denomination was 50,000 Mark. By 1923, the highest denomination was 100,000,000,000,000 Mark. In December 1923 the exchange rate was 4,200,000,000,000 Marks to 1 US dollar.[32] In 1923, the rate of inflation hit 3.25 � 106 percent per month (prices double every two days). Beginning on 20 November 1923, 1,000,000,000,000 old Marks were exchanged for 1 Rentenmark so that 4.2 Rentenmarks were worth 1 US dollar, exactly the same rate the Mark had in 1914.

More information:

Or, if it was later, it might have been after World War 2, when there was a currency reform and many people made losses when the new currency (Deutschmark) was introduced:


During the War World II times, my mom was there and they had to flee. They
went to the banks and their money was useless and they had no money to pay
out to the customers. The money was worthless. So it makes sense.

Hi Bob,I'm from Oregon, and visiting my son who teaches modern European history atQueens University, Belfast, N. Ireland. He suggests a setting sometime in 1922,amidst the Deutschmark devaluations, when people would need a wheelbarrowto cary home their earnings. If this were the first devaluation and not anticipated,it could take people by surprise. Devaluations tend to smother the desire to sellanything! He also suggests Wikipedia under German Deutschmarks devaluations.Best regards,Larry Monk

Hello Bob,

after the reunification of Germany and creation of the German Empire
(Deutsches Reich) in 1871, the member states created a common currency
called "Mark". When the German Empire lost the 1st World War in 1918, the
emperor was toppled and went into exile in Holland and Germany became
republic (Weimarer Republik). As looser of the war, Germany had to pay heavy
reparations, in addition the world economy went through a crisis (black
Friday in New York) which all together caused hyperinflation in Germany.

From 1922 to 1925 various measures were taken to fight inflation and two new

currencies were introduced the "Rentenmark" and the "Reichsmark". Savings on
banks were devalued in the course of these operations and many people lost
their fortunes. After the Second World War, the Reichsmark was replaced in
1948 by the "Deutsche Mark" in West Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland).
Again many people lost their savings. In East Germany (Deutsche
Demokratische Republik) the "DDR Mark" was introduced at the same time.
When East Germany and West Germany united in 1991 the Deutsche Mark (West)
became the common currency. With the creation of the EURO as common European
currency in 1999 the Deutsche Mark was abolished and the EURO became common
currency in some European countries.

The two currency devaluations in 1924 and 1948 traumatized many Germans.

Kind regards

Karsten Tolle

Depending on when this happened and where in Germany, it's possible. I am
attaching a link that gives the time line of the deutsche mark. This might
give you some perspective. The euro didn't come into play until 2002 I
believe, so based on her age, this was probably the currency that was
changed to.

Hope it helps,