header Notes Collection

20 Mark 1975, East Germany

in Krause book Number: 29а
Years of issue: 1975
Edition: --
Signatures: no signature
Serie: Staatsbank der DDR
Specimen of: 1971
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 128 х 56
Printer: VEB Wertpapierdruckerei der DDR, Leipzig

* 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.

20 Mark 1975




Johann Wolfgang (von) Goethe.


20 Mark 1975

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The engraving on banknote is made, presumably, after this portrait of Johann Wolfgang (von) Goethe, made in 1828, by German painter Joseph Karl Stieler (1 November 1781 – 9 April 1858). The portrait is in Painting Galery of Bavaria (Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen), in Munich.

Johann Wolfgang (von) Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

His first major scientific work, the Metamorphosis of Plants, was published after he returned from a 1788 tour of Italy. In 1791 he was made managing director of the theatre at Weimar, and in 1794 he began a friendship with the dramatist, historian, and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, whose plays he premiered until Schiller's death in 1805. During this period Goethe published his second novel, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, the verse epic Hermann and Dorothea, and, in 1808, the first part of his most celebrated drama, Faust. His conversations and various common undertakings throughout the 1790s with Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander von Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and August and Friedrich Schlegel have, in later years, been collectively termed Weimar Classicism.

Arthur Schopenhauer cited Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship as one of the four greatest novels ever written, along with Tristram Shandy, La Nouvelle Héloïse, and Don Quixote, and Ralph Waldo Emerson selected Goethe as one of six "representative men" in his work of the same name, along with Plato, Napoleon, and William Shakespeare. Goethe's comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, most notably Johann Peter Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe. There are frequent references to Goethe's writings throughout the works of Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oswald Spengler, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung. Goethe's poems were set to music throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by a number of composers, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Charles Gounod, Richard Wagner, Hugo Wolf, Felix Mendelssohn, Hector Berlioz, Gustav Mahler, and Jules Massenet.

Coat of arms DDRThe coat of arms of GDR is on top, more to left side.

The national emblem of the German Democratic Republic featured a hammer and a compass, surrounded by a ring of rye. It was an example of what has been called "socialist heraldry".

The hammer represented the workers in the factories. The compass represented the intelligentsia, and the ring of rye the farmers. The first designs included only the hammer and ring of rye, as an expression of the GDR as a communist "Workers' and Farmers' state" ("Arbeiter- und Bauernstaat"). Surrounded by a wreath, the national emblem also acted as the emblem for the East German National People's Army, and when surrounded by a twelve pointed white star, for the People's Police.

When the federated states in East Germany were abolished and replaced by Bezirke, making the GDR into a unitary state, the national emblem came to be used by the regions too. The East Berlin government did not want regional symbols to be used, since they could stir up regional patriotism and movements for independence.

The emblem was adopted as the GDR's national emblem by a law of 26 September 1955, and added to the national flag by a law of 1 October 1959.

The display of the national emblem was for some years regarded as unconstitutional in West Germany and West Berlin and was prevented by the police. Only in 1969 did the West German government of Willy Brandt reverse this policy in what was known as "Ostpolitik".

Denominations in numerals are in lower corners, in words centered.


20 Mark 1975

Berlin Schule

A group of pupils at the exit of the building of modern school.

Here's what the press of the GDR wrote in 1963:

"School education in the GDR.

After the defeat of fascism, school reform took place in the eastern regions of Germany. It formed a new unified school system with the main tactile (eight-grade) and upper secondary (grade 12) school (Oberschule). Separation of schools and confessional difference programs in urban and rural schools has been canceled. Instead uchiteley- Nazi teachers were sent to the school of workers (Neulehrer). Education and training school was built on a socialist ideological basis.

In 1960, the GDR were 10,875 schools (including 1146 professional), which employed 99,698 teachers and an enrollment of 2,396,983 students. By this time, almost no one-class schools left (only in a few mountain villages). The Seven-Year Plan is planned by 1965 to prepare 80 thousand teachers and build 16,500 new classrooms. "Workers and peasants" government is spending a lot of money for the construction and equipment of schools, provision of teaching materials, sports equipment, photographic equipment, and so on.

School restructuring began in the 1950s. Radically revised curriculum. The teaching of science and social studies carried out in such a way that students can understand their own events, evaluate them. Much attention is paid to the school due to the production.

Of great importance is the study of the Russian language in schools. This enables young Germans to get acquainted with the treasures of culture and science of the Russian and other Soviet peoples, hatred of the Germans who were brought up for decades.

By 1965, it is planned to make the transition to universal compulsory education in secondary Polytechnic High School (10 Classes).

Much attention is paid to the organization of leisure activities for children. A major role in this is played by the Pioneer organization named after Ernst Thälmann. In the houses of pioneers school students working in various circles: natural sciences ( "Young Naturalist", "Young technician"), in music, literature, sports and so created a children's department at the library or libraries for adults.. In Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden and other cities opening children's theaters. Great success in adolescents enjoy such performances as "Timur and his team", "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," "The Diary of Anne Frank", "Fight for Helgoland" and others.

Summer time children spend in the camps, sanatoriums. In 1958, on the rest of children was spent 90 mln. Marks of public funds. In the same year in West Germany, where children are much more was allotted to children's holiday, just 6 million Marks. Education of youth in the spirit of mutual understanding and respect for other peoples to a large extent facilitated by the fact that part of the GDR child spends summer vacation in the camps of other socialist countries, and the children of these countries spend a vacation in the GDR. Despite the opposition of West Berlin and West German authorities, each year many children resting GDR from West Berlin and of Germany.

Radically changed the position of teachers in the GDR, we have greatly improved the conditions of their work and life." ( rus.)

The inscription on top: "Wer Banknoten nachmacht oder verfälscht oder nachgemachte oder verfälschte sich verschafft und in Verkehr bringt, wird bestraft".

In English: "Who imitates banknotes or falsified or forged or falsified procures and markets it, will be punished."

On left side, again, is the coat of arms of GDR.

Denominations in numerals are in lower corners, in words at bottom, centered.


The State Bank of the GDR (German: Staatsbank der DDR) was the central bank of East Germany. It was established on 1 January 1968 from the Deutsche Notenbank and took over the majority of the same tasks.

The State Bank of the GDR was responsible for the administration of the internal account settlement and banking system, the issue of money and control of money circulation within the GDR, administration of the exchange control regulations and settlement of foreign currency accounts with overseas companies and governments (Zahlungsverkehr by transfer). In addition, the bank bought and sold financial securities and administered the purchase, sale and holding of precious metals for foreign exchange purposes.

The state bank was also responsible for the account processing of the state institutions and state enterprises, (Volkseigener Betrieb), having at least one main branch in each of the 15 administrative subdivisions of the German Democratic Republic.