GERMANY KÖNIGSSTEIN Prisoner of War camp 20 mark 1917


GERMANY, KÖNIGSSTEIN, Prisoner of War camp, 20 mark, 1.4.1917, Face: brown, OFFIZIER-GEFANGENLAGER FESTUNG KÖNIGSTEIN, Back: blank, T449.11, a few light foxing spots visible on back, VF-XF

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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.

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.