header Notes Collection

30 Pfennig 1921, Insterburg, Germany

Manfred Mehl. Deutsche Serienscheine Number: 645.1
Years of issue: 1921
Edition: --
Signatures: no signature
Serie: Notgeld of East Prussia (today Russia)
Specimen of: 1921
Material: Paper
Size (mm): 90 х 62
Printer: Karl Flemming & C. T. Wiskott A. G., Glögau

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

30 Pfennig 1921, Insterburg




Linked hooks (Hakenmäander).


30 Pfennig 1921, Insterburg

Insterburg Insterburg

In the bottom corners are the arms of Brandenburg and the Teutonic Knights, respectively. The inscription: "Burghof mit Peinturm" - "Courtyard with Tower of agony".

The coats of arms on the banknote given in honor of Albert, Duke of Prussia, who secularized land of the Order in Prussia in 1525 in the Duchy of Prussia.


On the note is the view, through a stone archway, into the courtyard of the Insterburg castle and tower Peinturm (Tower of agony or Tower of pain). The name of the tower was due to the fact, that in the Middle Ages, here was a prison, where tortures were carried out. It was the last surviving tower of the castle, survived till the mid XX century, which was later demolished.

Insterburg Insterburg

Insterburg Castle is located in the Kaliningrad region (Russia) in the city of Chernyakhovsk (until 1946 - the city of Insterburg). Founded in 1336, by order of the Master of the Teutonic Order Dietrich von Altenburg, on the site of Unzetrapis settlement, which was destroyed in 1256 during the military campaign of the Order of Nadruvians.

More information about the castle is written in description of 1,50 Mark 1921 Insterburg.

Insterburg Insterburg Insterburg

Photos made by me, while visiting the Castle of Insterburg (castle ruins).

Insterburg Insterburg Insterburg

Insterburg Insterburg

Denominations in numerals are in top corners.


30 Pfennig 1921, Insterburg


The silhouette of the Insterburg city.

The inscription in German: "City Savings Bank will pay to each bearer of the coupon 30 Pfennig"

Some objects on the silhouette I have identified:


The Lutheran Church (also: city church) in the East Prussian city of Insterburg (now Russian: Tschernjachowsk) was a choir loose plastered brick and built in the years 1610 to 1612. Until 1945 she was - from 1911 together with the Melanchthonkirche - the main Protestant church in the "city of three rivers". It was blown up in 1972 and demolished, its wall remains thereafter.

The Lutheran Church in the Old Market, of great artistic value, built in 1610-1612 with a tower from the XIX century, which was damaged in 1945, then demolished in 1972 and the ruins then removed. There are only a few vaults and arches wall on the staircase that leads down to the river.

One of the church bells of the Lutheran Church, which had to be delivered in 1942 to melt for the armaments industry, was found after the war back to the bells cemetery in Hamburg Freeport. Ushers since 1952 in the St. Nicolai Church in Hannover-Bothfeld. A bronze plaque, designed by the East Prussian artist Gerhard Wydra, reminds on the initiative of Heinz Albat and Pastor Hans-Heinz von Klaeden to their origin since 1990 levels. The Insterburger Conrad Olefant have donated this bell to 1639 citizens. After it had gotten a crack and had to be melted down in 1722, as documented by an inscription on the bell. Parts of the altar of the Lutheran Church are, reassembled, in the parish of Morag (Pfarrkirche von Mohrungen).


The water tower (Wasserturm) in Insterburg, on Kasernenstraße. The photo made in 1935.

Chernyakhovsk (Russian: Черняхо́вск); prior to 1946 known by its German name About this sound Insterburg (Lithuanian: Įsrutis; Polish: Wystruć) is a town and the administrative center of Chernyakhovsky District in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Instruch and Angrapa Rivers, forming the Pregolya.#

It was founded in 1336, after the Prussian Crusade, when the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights Dietrich von Altenburg built a castle called Instierburg at the site of a former Old Prussian fortification. During their campaign against the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the place was devastated in 1376 and again by Polish troops in 1457. The castle had been rebuilt as the seat of a Procurator and a settlement grew up to serve it, also called Insterburg.

When Albert of Brandenburg-Ansbach in 1525 secularized the monastic State of the Teutonic Order, Insterburg became part of the Duchy of Prussia and was granted town privileges on October 10, 1583 by the Prussian regent Margrave George Frederick.[citation needed] The town became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Because the area had been depopulated by plague in the early 18th century, King Frederick William I of Prussia invited Protestant refugees who had been expelled from the Archbishopric of Salzburg to settle in Insterburg in 1732.

In 1818, after the Napoleonic Wars, the town became the seat of Insterburg District within the Gumbinnen Region. Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly died at Insterburg in 1818 on his way from his Livonian manor to Germany, where he wanted to renew his health.

In 1863, a Polish secret organization was founded and operated in Insterburg. It was involved in arms trafficking to the Russian Partition of Poland during the January Uprising. Since May 1864 its leader was Józef Racewicz.

Insterburg became a part of the German Empire during the 1871 unification of Germany. On May 1, 1901, it became an independent city separate from Insterburg District. After World War I, the town was separated from the rest of Weimar Germany, as the province of East Prussia had become an exclave. The association football club Yorck Boyen Insterburg was formed in 1921.

During World War II, Insterburg was heavily bombed by the British Royal Air Force on July 27, 1944. The town was stormed by Red Army troops on January 21-22, 1945. As part of the northern part of East Prussia, Insterburg was transferred from Germany to the Soviet Union after the war as previously agreed between the victorious powers at the Potsdam Conference. The German population was either evacuated or expelled and replaced with Russians. In 1946, Insterburg was renamed Chernyakhovsk in honor of the Soviet World War II General of the Army Ivan Chernyakhovsky, who commanded the army that first entered East Prussia in 1944.

After 1989, a group of people introduced the Akhal-Teke horse breed to the area and opened an Akhal-Teke breeding stable.

Denominations in numerals are in top corners.


Printed on laid paper (Büttenpapier).

Laid paper is a type of paper having a ribbed texture imparted by the manufacturing process. In the pre-mechanical period of European papermaking (from the XII century into the XIX century), laid paper was the predominant kind of paper produced. Its use, however, diminished in the XIX century, when it was largely supplanted by wove paper. Laid paper is still commonly used by artists as a support for charcoal drawings.

Before the mechanization of papermaking, the laid pattern was produced by the wire sieve in the rectangular mold used to produce single sheets of paper. A worker would dip the mold into a vat containing diluted linen pulp, then lift it out, tilt it to spread the pulp evenly over the sieve, and, as the water drained out between the wires, shake the mold to lock the fibers together. In the process, the pattern of the wires in the sieve was imparted to the sheet of paper.

Modern papermaking techniques use a dandy roll to create the laid pattern during the early stages of manufacture, in the same way as applying a paper watermark. While in the wet state, the paper stock (a dilute dispersion of the cellulose fibers in water) is drained on a wire mesh to de-water the stock. During this process, a dandy roll with a laid mesh pattern is pressed into the wet stock, displacing the cellulose fiber. This pattern has to be applied at a particular stock consistency; otherwise the pattern will be lost as the fiber flows back while the stock moves past the dandy (too wet), or fiber will pick out of the stock (too dry), causing surface disruption. As the fiber is displaced, localized areas of higher and lower density are produced in a laid pattern, and the pattern is also created on the paper's surface. The pattern is therefore apparent both as one looks through the sheet and as one views its surface. Applying the laid pattern as a mechanical emboss would not create the laid pattern effect on the look-through, as this is only achieved by watermarking techniques.

The traditional laid pattern consists of a series of wide spaced lines (chain lines) parallel to the shorter sides of the sheet or, in machine made paper, running in the machine direction—and more narrowly spaced lines (laid lines) which are at 90 degrees to the chain lines.

Notgeld (German for "emergency money" or "necessity money") refers to money issued by an institution in a time of economic or political crisis. The issuing institution is usually one without official sanction from the central government. This occurs usually when sufficient state-produced money is not available from the central bank. Most notably, notgeld generally refers to money produced in Germany and Austria during World War I and the Interbellum. Issuing institutions could be a town's savings banks, municipality and private or state-owned firms.

Notgeld was mainly issued in the form of (paper) banknotes. Sometimes other forms were used, as well: coins, leather, silk, linen, postage stamps, aluminium foil, coal, and porcelain; there are also reports of elemental sulfur being used, as well as all sorts of re-used paper and carton material (e.g. playing cards). These pieces made from playing cards are extremely rare and are known as Spielkarten, the German word for "playing card".

Notgeld was a mutually-accepted means of payment in a particular region or locality, but notes could travel widely. Notgeld is different from occupation money that is issued by an occupying army during a war.