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Money for Inflation: the German Notgeld, 1914 - 1923

Hartmann, Johannes; (2022) Money for Inflation: the German Notgeld, 1914 - 1923. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract: Money for Inflation: The German Notgeld, 1914 – 1923 This thesis is a comprehensive history of the German emergency money issued in the years 1914 to 1923. During the First World War and in the early years of the Weimar Republic, German cities and municipalities periodically issued their own low-denomination coins and notes – the so-called ‘Notgeld’. Initially, this emergency money was intended to combat local cash shortages. It however quickly took on different functions: as collectible and as additional source of income for municipalities. Over time, the Notgeld designs became increasingly elaborate. Notes included references to local culture and history, as well as political commentary on the inflation and German society. The focus of this thesis is on the cultural history of Notgeld. Viewing emergency money not just as currency but as cultural artefact, its illustrations and inscriptions provide insights into German society and mentalities of the period. Notgeld is a particularly worthwhile source, because most Notgeld was issued by small towns and in more rural regions. This allows access to parts of Weimar society that have long been understudied. In the context of the inflation, the thesis also tells the political and economic history of Notgeld. Especially the last chapter, dealing with the hyperinflation in 1923, focusses on the economic significance of Notgeld issuance and its impact on the runaway inflation. Notgeld has been regularly overlooked as a source in the historiography of the First World War and the early Weimar Republic. Indeed, most publications on Notgeld are either from collectors or tell the history of Notgeld in a local context. This thesis fills this gap in the historiography and presents a more comprehensive history of German Notgeld, as well as establishing Notgeld as a source for researchers of early Weimar Germany.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Money for Inflation: the German Notgeld, 1914 - 1923
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Inflation, Notgeld, Germany, Weimar Republic, First World War
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10143153
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