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10 Rupees 1915, German East Africa

in Krause book Number: 38
Years of issue: 01.10.1915
Edition: 55 000
Signatures: Bankbeamter: Herr Stelling, Bankbeamter: Herr Kirst
Serie: Interims banknotes
Specimen of: 1915
Material: Dark black-brown cardboard with pressing of thin flax
Size (mm): 128 x 89
Printer: Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Zeitung G.m.b.H., Daressalam

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10 Rupees 1915




10 Rupees 1915

Text on banknote: "Interims-Banknote die Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank zahlt bei ihren Kassen im Deutsch-Ostafrikanischen Schutzgebiet dem Einlieferer dieser Banknote ohne Legitimationsprüfung; Zehn Rupien; Daressalam, Tabora, 1. Oktober 1915; Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank, Zweigniederlassung Daressalam; In Vollmacht."

English: "Interim banknote the German-East African Bank pays the consignor of this banknote at its cash registers in the German-East African protected area without a legitimation check; Ten rupees; Dar es-Salaam, Tabora, October 1, 1915; German East African Bank, Dar es-Salaam Branch; In power of attorney".


"Interim notes" had to be printed as early as March 1915, as there was no more supplies from the Reich and demand was steadily increasing. The war was expected to last for a short time.

At the instigation of Governor Dr. Schnee made from snow turned out to be primitive because there was no facility for security printing or suitable paper in the protected area. Paper stocks were taken as they were found. This explains the occurrence of the different types of paper and the change in colors. In March the ship “Marie” was able to break through the English blockade and bring sufficient amounts of paper with her. The DOA Zeitung GmbH first printed in Dar es-Salaam, nice to see on the back of the "interim notes", then in Tabora.

The print shop was later relocated to Morogoro. Except for the 20 and 200 rupees from 1915, the notes bear the location "Dar es-Salaam / Tabora", the 20 and 200 only "Tabora". The later bush notes do not have any location information, only the indication "Dar es-Salaam branch" is to be found. (Frank Scholz. The colonial money German East Africa. Page 29.)

Dar-es-Salam and Tabora fell in August 1916. A small manual printing shop was saved and put into operation near Kissaki on the Uluguru Mountains. It was printed here until September 1916. Then Kissaki also had to be evacuated. The last printed music notes that could have been saved were brought to the Rufidji River and there in the thick bush were completed and given out by Secretary of the Government Lenz and his successor Traub. The names did not appear on any of the bills. The Deputy Governor Brandes had some of the notes that could no longer be transported destroyed before the Belgian invasion. The military commander General v. Lettow-Vorbeck was always against the paper money economy and preferred requisition certificates, but the governor got his way. However, when a large amount of finished notes fell into English hands with the luggage during an attack on the governor, Lettow-Vorbeck had the remainder of the notes, around 30,000 rupees, burned. Due to a wide variety of statements and information in different sources, the amount of the total expenditure on "interim notes" cannot be determined exactly. Dr. On October 13, 1916, Solf stated in the Reichstag to date the sum of the “interim notes” at 7 million rupees. Dr. In his book, Schnee mentions the sum of 20 million rupees in circulation. If you put in full printing for all series, which is highly questionable, you would get 24 million rupees plus the 4 million rupees pre-war expenses, i.e. 28 million rupees. Here is an overview of the series and their quantities according to Dr. Keller (The paper money of the German colonies).


Capabilities to accurately count countless variations of Rs 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 200 interim banknotes according to paper, date, print type, watermarks, signatures, facsimiles, secret characters, check digits, prefixes, printing irregularities, indents, letterheads, date lines and many others, as well as fakes, and today are unlikely. (Das Kolonialgeld Deutsch–Ostafrika)


10 Rupees 1915

Text on banknote: "Der Gegenwert dieser Banknote ist bei dem Kaiserlichen Gouvernement von Deutsch-Ostafrika voll hinterlegt. Kadri ya noti hii imewekwa sahihi katika Kaiserliches Gouvernement von Deutsch-Ostafrika.

Wer Banknoten nachmacht oder verfälscht, oder nachgemachte oder verfälschte sich verschafft und in Verkehr bringt, wird mit Zuchthaus nicht unter 2 Jahren bestraft."

English: "The equivalent of this banknote is fully deposited with the Imperial Gouvernement of German East Africa. Kadri ya noti hii imewekwa sahihi katika Imperial Gouvernement of German East Africa (same sentence, but in local language).

Anyone who imitates or falsifies banknotes, or who procures them and puts them into circulation, will be punished for not less then 2 years in prison."


The Rupie was the currency of German East Africa between 1890 and 1916, continuing to circulate in the Tanganyika Territory until 1920.

The Indian rupee was the dominant currency used along the East African coast during the second half of the XIX century where it had marginalized the American gold dollar and the Maria Theresa thaler. The German East Africa Company acquired rights to mint coinage in 1890 and issued rupies which were equivalent to the Indian and Zanzibar rupee. The Company retained its coinage rights even after the takeover of German East Africa by the government later in 1890. In 1904 the German government took over currency matters and established the Ostafrikanische Bank.

The Rupie was initially equivalent to the Indian rupee. Until 1904, it was subdivided into 64 Pesa (equivalent to the Indian pice or paisa). The currency was decimalized on 28 February 1904, with 1 Rupie = 100 Heller. At the same time, a fixed exchange rate of 15 Rupien = 20 German Mark was established.

In 1915 and 1916 in the period of fighting in East Africa during World War I a large series of emergency issues of paper money were issued. 1916 also saw a final issue of coins to pay German led troops, including 15 Rupien coins which contained an equivalent amount of gold from the Sekenke Gold Mine to equal 15 German Marks. Later in 1916 German East Africa was occupied by British and Belgian forces. In Tanganyika, the Rupie circulated alongside the East African rupee (to which it was equal) until 1920, when both were replaced by the East African florin at par. In Burundi and Rwanda, the Belgian Congolese franc replaced the Rupie in 1916.

In 1890, copper 1 Pesa and silver 1 and 2 Rupie coins were introduced, followed the next year by silver ¼ and ½ Rupie and in 1893 by silver 2 Rupien coins. The silver coins were minted to the same standard as the Indian rupee.

As a consequence of decimalization, bronze ½ and 1 Heller were introduced in 1904, followed by bronze 5 Heller and holed, cupro-nickel 10 Heller in 1908. In 1913, holed, cupro-nickel 5 Heller were introduced.

The 1916 issues were minted at Tabora as a wartime emergency coinage. A total of 302,940 brass 5 Heller were issued. In addition, both copper (325,000) and brass (1,307,760) 20 Heller coins were produced, a quantity that allows them to remain readily available for collectors. In addition 16,198 of the gold 15 Rupien mentioned above were produced. While the smaller valued coins were crudely struck, the gold pieces received fine detail.


In 1909, the German East African Bank (Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank) was opened in Dar es-Salaam, which received the right to issue banknotes. In 1915-1917, the bank issued temporary banknotes (German Interims-Banknote), distinguished by a wide variety of types.

In 1905, the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank introduced notes for 5, 10, 50, and 100 Rupien, and 500 Rupien in 1912. Between 1915 and 1917, World War I emergency issue (interim) notes were produced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 200 Rupien.

Colonial German East Africa was cut off from Germany resulting from a wartime blockade. Silver coinage was hoarded for its intrinsic value in commercial transactions, and the colonial government was pressured into creating interim banknotes. Previous issues of banknotes (i.e., 1905 and 1912) were produced by the German printing company Giesecke & Devrient. The colonial government contracted with the printers of Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Zeitung, a daily newspaper in Dar es-Salaam, and on 15 March 1915 they produced the first issue of provisional notes (20 rupien), initially printed on linen and later on paper made from jute. Given the wartime supply shortages, the provisional notes were also printed on commercial paper, wrapping paper, and in one very rare instance, wall paper. Initially variations of white, the notes also appeared in a wide variety of colors, including blue-gray, olive brown, reddish brown, golden brown, dark brown, gray brown, shades of blue, and dark green.

The translated text of the notes states: (front) Provisional Banknote. The German East African Bank will pay, without checking a person’s identity, one rupie (etc.) from its offices in the D.O.A. protectorate. and, in both German and Swahili: (reverse) One hundred percent of the face value of this banknote is deposited with the Imperial German East African government. A warning on the lower reverse of the note states that counterfeiting will result in a minimum sentence of two years at hard labor. Treasury records from colonial German East Africa indicate that 8,876,741 interim notes were printed.