How is the DMAR inventory

Anniversary: ​​06/20/1948 The hour of birth of the Deutsche Mark

The victorious Allied powers had already realized after the end of the war that Germany was heading for a major economic crisis. The old Reichsmark was in abundance, but nothing that could have been bought for it. Instead, the so-called "cigarette currency" had established itself: goods were exchanged for goods. The pressure on the Allies to profoundly change economic conditions therefore increased. However, an economic upswing necessarily required a new currency.

Currency reform initially in the West

Plans for a fundamental German currency reform had therefore existed since 1946. According to the Potsdam Agreement, Germany was to form an economic unit despite being divided into zones of occupation. But at the beginning Great Britain and France were against an all-German financial policy. The Soviet Union later delayed the plans. Moscow insisted on the independence of their zone. The Soviets wanted to print some of the new banknotes without the supervision of the other allies. This venture met with resistance from the Americans, French and British. The terms of a currency reform were repeatedly negotiated in the Allied Control Council. Without success.

Operation "Bird Dog"

Since the Soviet Union turned out to be a "risk" for a planned and necessary reform, the Western occupying powers England, the United States and France had already decided in September 1947 to single-handedly introduce the German Mark (DM). In October 1947, banknote printing began in the United States. A total of 23,000 boxes with printed notes were sent from America to Bremerhaven in a secret operation by April 1948. The code name of the operation was "Bird Dog" - the English word for "sniffer dog". The action was led by Edward A. Tenenbaum. The Germans just called it "Tannenbaum".

Currency reform: 100 Reichsmarks for 6.50 DM

The new mark was issued on the morning of June 20, 1948, starting at 8 a.m. Every West German received a one-off amount of 40 DM. Savings were, however, heavily devalued: for every 100 Reichsmark saved there was only 6.50 DM.

The USSR cannot print banknotes

The Soviet Union felt provoked by the currency reform in the western "Trizone" and saw it as an expression of the "West German will to split" and a "clear indication of the impending establishment of a western German state". The Soviets claimed that reform, which they allegedly did not know about, had been forced upon them. They knew very well about the secret operation of the Americans. The Soviet spy Donald Maclean, who officially worked for the British secret service MI5, reported the "Bird Dog" action as early as October 1947. But despite this information, the Soviet Union could not react for a simple reason. She simply lacked the watermark paper to be able to print her own banknotes.

"Tapetenmark" in the east

The Eastern Zone introduced a new currency on June 22, 1984. However, this reform was anything but thoroughly prepared. The old Reichsmark notes were simply pasted over with coupons. The so-called "Tapetenmark" was now the new currency in the East for the time being. 70 marks per person were exchanged at the rate of "1 Reichsmark: 1 Mark".

West Berlin accounts blocked in the east

On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union blocked the accounts of West Berlin companies and private individuals at the banks in East Berlin. The SED explained the actions of the occupying power as follows: "Whoever accepts the Western Separatist Mark loses the basis of his existence. The savings of the Berlin population and the social security funds are in the Soviet sector of Berlin. We will never give our consent that these funds of the Berlin population will be sacrificed to the monopoly interests of the Western powers. " It was not until July 1948 that the Soviet Union offered to release the accounts. However, it is tied to the obligation that all clearings must be made in East Marks.