header Notes Collection

1,5 Mark 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.

1,5 Mark 1921, Insterburg




Linked hooks (Hakenmäander).


1,5 Mark 1921, Insterburg

Insterburg Insterburg

On banknote is Castle Insterburg on the Upper castle pond. On this pond once worked the mill. The inscription: "Altes Ordensschloß" - "Old Teutonic castle".

Insterburg Castle is located in the Kaliningrad region 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 Unzetrapis settlement on the site, which was destroyed in 1256 during the military campaign of the Order of Nadruvians.

In 1275, the Teutonic Knights set off to subdue Nadrovia. A Prussian stronghold called Nettinen or Letowie (today Krasnaja Gorka) served as their base for attacks and defence. For many centuries before, these earthen and timber fortifications had been used by Baltic Prussian as a safe haven.

In 1311, Teutonic mercenaries called Landsknechts set up a camp on the high banks of the Angrapa River, close to where it flows into the Inster River. Later, in 1337, the Teutonic Knights built a brick castle in the same location. Most of the construction works had been completed by 1347. The fortress was named Insterburg Castle. The word "inster" in the Baltic Prussian language was the name of the river on which the castle was raised, and used to be translated as "flowing". The word 'burg' meant "a stronghold" in German. The whole name "Insterburg" was translated as "a fortress on water".

For many centuries to follow, Insterburg Castle was a bastion located in the easternmost parts of the Teutonic State, from which raids against Lithuania were waged. Originally, Insterburg Castle was meant to serve as a seat for the local commander, known as komtur. But this plan had to be revoked, as the fortress was constantly threatened by enemy. As a result, the castle was run by a Teutonic procurator, and in the XIV-XV centuries it became an important military base. In the administrative division, Insterburg belonged to the commandry of Königsberg.

From 1643 to 1647, Maria Eleonora, a sister of the Prussian Prince Elector George Wilhelm, spent her best days at Insterburg Castle, after her royal husband, King of Sweden, Gustaw Adolf, had died. Following the death of her husband, Queen Maria Eleonora had to leave Sweden due to a conflict with her daughter, Queen Christina.


In 1812, the castle was visited by the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon stopped here on his way to Russia, where he was going to take personal command over his armies. In 1814, Elisabeth Alexeievna, the wife of Tzar Alexander I of Russia (1777-1825) was passing through Insterburg. In 1689, Insterburg became the place of the death and burial of Anchen von Tarau, a heroine of a well known East Prussian song.

Castle Insterburg on the Upper castle pond. the photo made in period from 1895 till Insterburg

After the First World War, the museum of local lore of the Insterburg Antiquities Society was built in the castle citadel, and the forurb remained in the jurisdiction of the land court.

In 1945, the castle was attacked and suffered from a fire. After the war, the military unit was located in the surviving buildings. Presumably in 1949 the castle citadel was almost completely destroyed by fire (only the outer walls were left). From the same moment, the dismantling of the brick forforburg buildings began (materials were exported to Lithuania to restore the facilities of the national economy). In the early 1950s, the castle's territory was transferred to the repair and construction department No. 1.

Insterburg Insterburg Insterburg

Up to now, the castle has reached a dilapidated state. In the original form, the southern outbuildings of Forburg, together with the defensive wall, have been preserved. From the citadel there was only a box of exterior walls, with the exception of the western wing, which was dismantled in the postwar period. At the same time, the last tower of the castle, Painturm, was dismantled. The north and north-western sides of the forburg were not preserved - only part of the defensive wall, adjacent to the citadel on the east side, remained.

Since 1997, a group of enthusiasts has been working on the territory of the Castle of Insterburg, which was merged in 1999 into the non-profit organization Dom-Zamok. Since 2003 the organization is the official user of the monument of the history of federal significance "Castle Insterburg". In 2006, due to the activities of the NGO "Dom-Zamok", the facility was included in the federal target program "Culture of Russia", anti-accident work, scientific research, development of design and estimate documentation began. In 2010, in connection with the transfer of the property to the Russian Orthodox Church, funding for the work within the federal program was terminated.


The north section of the castle outward yard had more luck as its building have survived and now house a museum. On the square in front of the museum local enthusiasts and artists such as singers and musicians organize concerts, contests and other cultural events. And most importantly, hope lingers on in the town that one day the castle will be reconstructed. (

Insterburg Insterburg

From myself - In the north wing of the castle (as the most preserved) is a museum, which exists only thanks to enthusiasts. We visited this museum on August 29, 2018. Got on a little excursion by a nice girl:)

We were even brought into the catacombes of the castle, where, according to rumors, ghosts are still living:)

around the image is a woven wreath of oak leaves.

Denomination in numeral is at the bottom.


1,5 Mark 1921, Insterburg


The silhouette of the Insterburg city.

The inscription in German: "City Savings Bank will pay to each bearer of the coupon 1,5 Mark"

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.