AUSTRIA ENNSLEITE POW Camp 20 heller World War I


AUSTRIA, ENNSLEITE, K.u.K. MILITÄRBAUAUFSICHT II, 20 heller, no date (1914-18), Face: black, utility design, Back: blank, inkstamp UNGÜLTIG, By the Military Building Inspection Department for the money transactions of the prisoners of war working on the building site, Campbell-1567, aF

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The general idea of prisons being to keep those people away from everyone else, the next question is are you going to let them engage in any kind of economy at all, or are you just going to run everything about their lives? If you let them have “real money” they will inevitably get the guards to engage in corrupt activities, so, institutional money that can’t be used anywhere else. The denominations on these chits bore no relation to normal money.

For organizational purposes, banknote collectors tend to make a distinction between national issues and local issues. The Standard Catalog of World Paper Money has a volume dedicated to “specialized” issues, where about 20,000 items are listed. A “complete” catalog would likely have at least 10 times that number. The Standard Catalog numbers for “specialized” notes are designated P-S. There are special catalogs for various series such as German and Austrian notgeld, former Soviet Union, etc.

Paper money, meaning the promise of a government to pay a set amount, and the paper promise allowed to circulate at will, was probably first used in China in the 12th century AD. At that time the merchants and governments of Europe were just writing letters to each other about what they owed.