AUSTRIA, MAUTHAUSEN Prisoner of War camp 10 kronen


AUSTRIA, MAUTHAUSEN, Prisoner of War camp, 10 kronen, no date, Face: black on tan and blue-green, Dieser Betrag ist ein Anteilschein des…, Back: blank, unlisted in Campbell, inkstamp cancelled, Unc

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In Austria during and after World War I there was a general shortage of coins and banknotes as things got more and more chaotic. The use of local emergency money (notgeld) was a widespread phenomenon.

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.

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.