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50 Mark 1971, East Germany

in Krause book Number: 30а
Years of issue: 1971
Signatures: no signature
Serie: Staatsbank der DDR
Specimen of: 1971
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 136 х 59
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.

50 Mark 1971




Friedrich Engels.


50 Mark 1971

Friedrich Engels

The engraving on banknote is made after this photo of Friedrich Engels. The photo was made in 1877.

Friedrich Engels (28 November 1820 – 5 August 1895) was a German philosopher, social scientist, journalist and businessman. He founded Marxist theory together with Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research in Manchester.

In 1848 he co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx, though he also authored and co-authored (primarily with Marx) many other works, and later he supported Marx financially to do research and write "Das Kapital". After Marx's death, Engels edited the second and third volumes. Additionally, Engels organised Marx's notes on the "Theories of Surplus Value," which he later published as the "fourth volume" of Capital. He also made contributions to family economics.

Friedrich Engels was born on Nov. 28, 1820, in Barmen, Rhenish Prussia, a small industrial town in the Wupper valley. He was the oldest of the six children of Friedrich and Elisabeth Franziska Mauritia Engels. The senior Engels, a textile manufacturer, was a Christian Pietist and religious fanatic. After attending elementary school at Barmen, young Friedrich entered the gymnasium in nearby Elberfeld at the age of 14, but he left it 3 years later. Although he became one of the most learned men of his time, he had no further formal schooling.

Under pressure from his tyrannical father, Friedrich became a business apprentice in Barmen and Barmen, but he soon called it a "dog's life." He left business at the age of 20, in rebellion against both his joyless home and the "penny-pinching" world of commerce. Henceforth, Engels was a lifelong enemy of organized religion and of capitalism, although he was again forced into business for a number of years.

While doing his one-year compulsory military service (artillery) in Berlin, Engels came into contact with the radical Young Hegelians and embraced their ideas, particularly the materialist philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach. After some free-lance journalism, part of it under the pseudonym of F. Oswald, in November 1842 Engels went to Manchester, England, to work in the office of Engels and Ermens, a spinning factory in which his father was a partner. In Manchester, the manufacturing center of the world's foremost capitalist country, Engels had the opportunity of observing capitalism's operations—and its distressing effects on the workers—at first hand. He also studied the leading economic writers, among them Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Robert Owen in English, and Jean Baptiste Say, Charles Fourier, and Pierre Joseph Proudhon in French. He left Manchester in August 1844.

On his way back to Germany, Engels stopped in Paris, where he met Karl Marx for a second time. On this occasion a lifelong intellectual rapport was established between them. Finding they were of the same opinion about nearly everything, Marx and Engels decided to collaborate on their writing.

Engels spent the next 5 years in Germany, Belgium, and France, writing and participating in revolutionary activities. He fought in the 1849 revolutionary uprising in Baden and the Palatinate, seeing action in four military engagements. After the defeat of the revolution, he escaped to Switzerland. In October 1849, using the sea route via Genoa, he sailed to England, which became his permanent home.

Friedrich Engels

In November 1850, unable to make a living as a writer in London and anxious to help support the penniless Marx, Engels reluctantly returned to his father's business in Manchester. In 1864, after his father's death, he became a partner in the firm, and by early 1869 he felt that he had enough capital to support himself and to provide Marx with a regular annuity of £350. On July 1, 1869, Engels sold his share of the business to his partner. He exulted in a letter to Marx: "Hurrah! Today I finished with sweet commerce, and I am a free man!" Marx's daughter, Eleanor, who saw Engels on that day, wrote: "I shall never forget the triumphant 'For the last time,' which he shouted as he drew on his top boots in the morning to make his last journey to business. Some hours later, when we were standing at the door waiting for him, we saw him coming across the little field opposite his home. He was flourishing his walking stick in the air and singing, and laughing all over his face."

In September 1870 Engels moved to London, settling near the home of Marx, whom he saw daily. A generous friend and gay host, the fun-loving Engels spent the remaining 25 years of his life in London, enjoying good food, good wine, and good company. He also worked hard, doing the things he loved: writing, maintaining contact and a voluminous correspondence with radicals everywhere, and after Marx's death in 1883 laboring over the latter's notes and manuscripts, bringing out volumes 2 and 3 of "Das Kapital" in 1885 and 1894, respectively. Engels died of cancer on Aug. 5, 1895. Following his instructions, his body was cremated and his ashes strewn over the ocean at Eastbourne, his favorite holiday resort. (

Coat of arms DDR

The 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.


50 Mark 1971

Schwedt petrochemisches Kombinat

The pipelines of the oil refinery PCK-Raffinerie in Schwedt/Oder, GDR.

The refinery PCK Raffinerie GmbH was founded in 1958 in Schwedt/Oder, the German Democratic Republic, and was designed with the technical assistance of the USSR. Completion of the main oil pipeline "Druzhba" has made possible the supply of crude oil and the launch of the company in 1964. The company was privatized in 1991.

Schwedt petrochemisches Kombinat Schwedt petrochemisches Kombinat Schwedt petrochemisches Kombinat

Currently, primary processing capacity is - 11.5 million tons/year. Nelson complexity index of - 9.2. Shareholders: 37,50% - Ruhr Oel GmbH, (ROG), 37,50% - Shell, 16,67% - Total and 8,33% - Eni. Refinery incorporates a marine terminal for receiving crude oil in Rostock, as well as a distribution terminal for oil products in Seefeld, near Berlin.

According to the technical and economic indicators of the company it is one of the best in Europe.

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.

Small video about Schwedt/Oder, GDR, 1970.

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.