This Fünf Millionen Mark Gutschein, or five million Mark voucher, was issued by Hugo Stinnes-Riebeck Montan und Oelwerke (Hugo Stinnes-Riebeck Mining and Oil Works). Styled after a banknote, the front and backside of this company scrip include crossed hammer and pick symbols representing the mining industry.
With dealings in mines and oil, Hugo Stinnes-Riebeck Montan und Oelwerke was owned by Hugo Stinnes, one of the most powerful industrialists and politicians in post-World War One Germany. Referred to as the "Inflationskönig" (inflation king), Stinnes used his influence to borrow large sums of Reichmarks, which he repaid years later with nearly worthless currency due to hyperinflation.
This German company scrip is an example of the hyperinflation which occurred in Germany after World War One as a result of reparation costs. Due to the devaluation of the Mark, companies began issuing their own currency that employees could use within their company stores. The high value of this currency is indicative of the hyperinflation of the Mark whose value decreased drastically from early 1923 through November 1923.
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“Hugo Stinnes-Riebeck Montan Und Oelwerke Fünf Millionen Mark Gutschein.” Germany: Hugo Stinnes-Riebeck Montan und Oelwerke, September 1923. Robert J. Bauman collection. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/d504rm188.
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