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100 Latu 1939, Latvia

in Krause book Number: 22
Years of issue: 13.05.1939
Edition:
Signatures: Padomes priekšsēdētājs: Adolfs Klīve, Galvenais Direktors: Kārlis Vanags
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 13.05.1939
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 150 х 80
Printer: Valsts Papiru Spiestuve un Naudas Kaltuve, Riga

* 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.

100 Latu 1939

Description

Watermark:

watermark

Kārlis Augusts Vilhelms Ulmanis (September 4, 1877 - September 20, 1942) was a prominent Latvian politician in pre-World War II Latvia during the Latvian period of independence from 1918 to 1940.

On May 15, 1934, ostensibly to protect the country from a coup by right-wing extremists known as the Legion, led by Lt. Col. Voldemārs Ozols, Ulmanis as Prime Minister dissolved the Saeima (Parliament) and established executive non-parliamentary authoritarian rule. Several officers from the Army and units of the national guard (Latvian: Aizsargi) loyal to Ulmanis moved against key government offices, communications and transportation facilities. Many elected officials were illegally detained, as were any military officers that resisted the coup d'etat.

Ulmanis was a popular leader, especially among the farmers, during whose leadership Latvia recorded major economic achievements. During Ulmanis' rule, education was strongly emphasized and literacy rates in Latvia reached high levels.

He was a Latvian nationalist, who espoused the slogan "Latvia for Latvians" and held that every ethnic community in Latvia should develop its own authentic national culture, instead of assimilating. The policy of Ulmanis, even before his access to power, was openly directed toward eliminating the minority groups from economic life and of giving Latvians access to all positions in the national economy - sometimes referred to as Lettization. According to some estimates, about 90% of the banks and credit establishments in Latvia were in Latvian hands in 1939, against 20% in 1933.

As the result, the economic share of minorities - Germans, Jews, Russians, Lithuanians - declined. However, Ulmanis didn't allow any physical violence or unlawful acts towards minorities and dealt harshly with right- and left- wing extremists, and with both Nazi and Communist sympathizers. Between 1920 and 1938, many Jews, escaping Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, found refuge in Latvia.

On July 21, 1940 Ulmanis was forced to resign and asked the Soviet government for a pension and to allow him to emigrate to Switzerland. Instead, he ended up in Stavropol in the present Russia, where he worked in his original profession for a year. In July 1941, he was imprisoned. A year later, as German armies were closing in on Stavropol, he and other inmates were evacuated to a prison in Krasnovodsk in present day Turkmenistan. On the way there, he contracted dysentery and soon died on 20 September 1942. Ulmanis had no wife or children, as he used to say that he was married to Latvia.

Avers:

100 Latu 1939

Centered are the peasant family under the symbolic protection of Mother Latvia (allegoric female figure above), with a bouquet of oak branches in her hands. Near the feet of them is a sheaf of wheat.

Denominations in numerals are along all sides of banknote. Top right are in numeral and in words.

Revers:

100 Latu 1939

Cargo ships staying near berth at the Riga export port, the sail ship is in harbor.

tvaikonis Laimdota

On foreground is the steamer Laimdota.

Latvian coat of arms is on left side.

coat Latvia

The Latvian national Coat of Arms was formed after the proclamation of an independent Republic of Latvia on November 18, 1918, and was officially adopted on June 16, 1921. It was especially created for its independent statehood. The national coat of arms combines symbols of Latvian national statehood, as well as symbols of ancient historical districts.

The sun in the upper part of the coat of arms symbolizes Latvian national statehood. A stylized depiction of the sun was used as a symbol of distinction and national identity by the Imperial Russian Army's Latvian Riflemen during World War I. During the war, the sun figure was fashioned with 17 rays that symbolized the 17 Latvian-inhabited districts. The three stars above the coat of arms embody the idea of the inclusion of historical districts (Vidzeme, Latgale and combined Courland-Semigalia (Kurzeme-Zemgale) into the united Latvia.

Culturally historical regions are also characterized by older heraldic figures, which already appeared in the XVII century. Courland and Semigalia (Western Latvia) are symbolized by a red lion, which appears as early as 1569 in the coat of arms of the former Duke of Courland and Semigalia. Vidzeme and Latgale (Eastern Latvia) are symbolized by the legendary winged silver creature with an eagle's head, a griffin. This symbol appeared in 1566, when the territories known today as Vidzeme and Latgale had come under Lithuanian control.

Base of the coat of arms is decorated with the branches of an oak tree, Quercus robur, which is one of Latvian national symbols.

The Latvian national coat of arms was designed by the Latvian artist Rihards Zariņš.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners. In the middle in words.

Comments:

In circulation from 13.05.1939 till 25.03.1941.

Designer: Jānis Šternbergs.

The banknote went into circulation in 1939. The background of these banknotes is red, and people, at that time, said that this was not a good sign.