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500 Mark 1985, East Germany

in Krause book Number: 33
Years of issue: was not issued
Edition: 50 000 000
Signatures: no signature
Serie: Staatsbank der DDR
Specimen of: 1985
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 160 x 68
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.

500 Mark 1985




The coat of arms of GDR.


500 Mark 1985

Coat of arms DDR

The coat of arms of GDR is on top, more to left side and on right 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".

Military parade of the People's Army of the GDR (NVA) on the occasion of the country's 30th anniversary, 1979.

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


500 Mark 1985

Staatsrat der DDR Staatsrat der DDR

The State Council building of the German Democratic Republic (Staatsrat der DDR).

The State Council building was erected in the years 1962 to 1964 as the headquarters of the Council of State. It is centrally located on the Spree Island, at Schlossplatz 1 (to 1994: Marx-Engels-Platz) in Berlin district of Mitte. During the existence of the GDR, the building, among other things for award events and diplomatic receptions was used and was the first newly constructed government buildings of Berlin after the Second World War.

The architecture of the building can be seen as the first expression of stylistic realism in the GDR-architecture of the 1960s. The architects Roland Korn and Hans Erich Bogatzky put to the Council of State building as a prototype the foundation for the new so-called "GDR or East Modern".

In the façade asymmetrically incorporated is the so-called "Karl-Liebknecht-portal", the former Portal IV of the Berlin City Palace, before its balcony Karl Liebknecht on 9 November 1918, the "Socialist Republic" was proclaimed. Both inside, the amount of bullets, as in the exterior appearance corresponds to the State Council building measuring the north side facade of the old castle, in the portal IV was originally added to the pleasure garden. The portal, which again bought more than ten years after the final demolition of the castle in 1950 as a defining element of the front facade of the Council of State building, is, however, only about one-fifth of the original parts.

A facade of sandstone and red granite decorates the structural steel skeleton. Integrated onto the facade are damaged, repaired, and newly rebuilt parts of the entry portal from the demolished Berlin City Palace, including the balcony from which Liebknecht gave his famous speech on Nov. 9, 1918, declaring a free socialist republic.

This claim is underlined by a high tall glass picture by artist Walter Womack in the foyer and staircase hall, illustrating the history of the labor movement in Germany from the perspective of the SED. Therein the socialist Spartacus League of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht is linked to the traditional labor movement, their highest level of development they wanted to see in the GDR.

Offices, conference rooms, banquet halls, and ballrooms, in addition to the so-called Diplomats Hall on the upper floor, are housed in the interior of the building. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder used the State Council building as a provisionary Federal Chancellery from 1999 until 2001. Following two years of renovation and restoration work, a new era was begun when "the European School of Management and Technology" (ESMT) moved into the building. Mawa Design restored numerous existing lamps in the building, equipping them with modern energy saving technology. Centrally managed IT infrastructure provides enormous savings related to daily use of the building. More than 250 lights were refurbished. Existing lights were outfitted with digitally controlled "It-Tridonic System-Technology". The dismantling and remounting of lights on site was undertaken at heights of up to 12 meters. (

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.


In 1985, the State Bank of the GDR printed banknotes in denominations of 200 and 500 marks in the amount of billions of marks. By the decision of the party they were not put into circulation because of concerns that people may perceive them as a sign of inflation. On the other hand, the sale of such banknotes needed when selling certain products (e.g., automobiles). The existence of the notes only became known after the peaceful revolution in the GDR.

It melted about 4,500 tons of coins, but a large number of coins kept in private collections.

All banknotes that were in circulation (about 100 million marks or 620 million banknotes, components in the amount of 4,500 cubic meters), including not released into circulation banknotes in denominations of 200 and 500 marks, in 1990-1991. It was stored in two 300-meter tunnels near the town of Halberstadt. The galleries were sealed two-meter concrete seals and fitted with heavy steel doors. In a humid atmosphere of the mine, paper money had to go through natural decomposition.

In July 2001 it was reported that two residents of the city (24 and 26 years old) managed to enter the store and steal a large number of banknotes. They were sentenced to four months' imprisonment. Currently, these stolen banknotes of 200 and 500 marks occasionally appearing in collectors circles.

After the theft, in connection with the rapid expansion of bank notes is not enough, it was decided to burn them. In March 2002, the money has been removed from the gallery, and in April of the same year, in Schöningen began their destruction, which lasted until 25 June.

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.