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5 Mark 1922, Memel, Germany

Manfred Mehl. Deutsche Serienscheine Number: 881.2
Years of issue: 22.02.1922
Edition: --
Signatures: M.Petisne, Joseph Kraus, Bernhard Hennig, Dr. F.J. Meier
Serie: Notgeld of East Prussia (today Lithuania)
Specimen of: 22.02.1922
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 120 х 79
Printer: Gebr. Parcus A.-G. München

* 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.

5 Mark 1922, Memel




On banknote is watermark type "Plastic chain" (Plastische Kette).



5 Mark 1922, Memel

On the background is the coat of arms of Memel.

Memel wappen

The origin of the municipal coat of arms (gold on red background) goes back to the second half of the XIII century. It was taken by the city Klaipėda and shows in the middle, the tower of the Memel castle (protected by walls), on both sides wooden marker buoys (as in Bommelsvitte and "Galgenbake" in Schmelz). The massive rowing boat refers to the location of the castle near the Kurischen Haff (Curonian Lagoon) and shows the ferry to the Kurischen Nehrung (Curonian Spit). The 4 stars refer to a time when boatmen had to navigate without a compass.

At the bottom are 4 signatures.

Denominations in numerals and in words are on right and left sides.


5 Mark 1922, Memel


Centered is the view of Memel Stock Exchange building at the northern bank of river Dange (Dane).

The Stock Exchange Memel was a Prussian regional exchange, based in Memel.

Memel was due to its location at the river mouth traditionally a port and commercial city. The Kaufmannschaft in Memel decided in 1776 to levy a voluntary export tax on the most important commercial products. From the proceeds 1777 the stock exchange Memel was established. This levy was initially disapproved by the Prussian government, but in the course of the 1790s it came to an understanding in the context of which the merchant community was confirmed the right to own land.

According to the Introductory Law to the Commercial Code 1861, it was necessary to have the stock exchange regulations approved. The stock exchange order of 13 April 1865 the stock exchange Memel was approved on 12 June 1865 by the Prussian Ministry of Commerce.

Since the founding of the German Reich, a strong concentration process has taken place among the stock exchanges. In 1914 there were still 24 stock exchanges, the stock exchanges in Berlin (66%), Frankfurt am Main (12%) and Hamburg (9%) together covered more than 90% of stock exchange trading. In Memel no securities trading took place, only goods trade was operated.

The building of the stock exchange was in the Stock Exchange Street (Börsenstraße) 15-17, in the center of the city, on the bank of the river Dange. At the back was the monument place, on which also the town hall laid. The stock exchange building was located on the Börsenstraße with the front side, which was passed over the Dange by the "Stock Exchange bridge" (drawbridge, that could be opened for ships). The building was destroyed in 1944 during World War II by gunfire and air strikes.

When viewed from the side of the river, to the left of the Stock Exchange building was an ancient monument of Borussia and the city council building, and on the right - the post office. All of that was destroyed in 1945 as a result of air bombing. After the war, the buildings were not restored. Only recently were announced some public projects to revive several of Memel's historic buildings.

I found one interesting article, published in Lithuanian newspaper in 2008. Here it is:

"Destiny of Dane: from the river - to the creek?

Not only the Soviet authorities tried to overcome the nature of the river and turn back the clock. It turns out in different times and Klaipeda rather unceremoniously turned with his Dan River, which was once built city of Memel: turned its direction, changed the name, destroyed lived here Fish and crayfish, and now does, according to some, threatening turn once navigable river in the creek. Really all so sad?

Until September of this year, according to the project "Embankment of the Dane River and a port for yachts and small ships in Klaipėda mound" will be the reconstruction of the embankments of the river from the Exchange bridge to the mouth. According to the head of the department of investments and business development Klaipeda Municipality Skirmantas Buivydas, currently professionals, driving steel sheet piles, embankment foundation finish. After this coast strengthen reinforced concrete and finished hardwood that grows in tropical parts of the world. Near the waterfront equipped with granite track width of 2.5 m., Will hold lighting, install benches. The project is implemented UAB "Hidrostatyba". After the completion of the reconstruction of the river bed in this segment will decrease by 3-4 meters, more than 1.5 m. From both sides. Deepening the river is only near the shore, and only so that it can be moored yachts, sediment which no more than 2.5-3 m.

"Corner" river.

The historian, director of the Museum of Lithuania Minor Gyanis Jonas said that the mouth of the Dane River tends to be narrowing: "It is regrettable, but over the centuries it has been narrowed to a few meters." Gyanis said, that section of the river from the Jonas slide till Theater Square townspeople dug around XVI century. Until then, in the place where now there is a Jonas slide, Dane made a turn and ran on the street Didjey Vandens, and near the square. Near Teatro square it creating a low, sandy islands. Near the mouth of the total width of the river is about 800 meters away, while the Old Town and castle were originally on the island. In the XVII century. When the city were erected fortifications, bulk Jonas slide blocked the old river bed. Then the current track has been strengthened with wooden piles to protect the shore from erosion. In the middle of the XVII century. on the banks of the Dane began to build warehouses.

"It's hard to say which was the width of the river at the time, but results in some places piles indicate that the channel was a few meters wider than the current", - says Gyanis. Yet the beginning of the XX century. Dana riverbed, according to the historian, has narrowed, later, in the Soviet years, the embankment reinforced concrete, laid on old piles.

Under the Soviets changed the name of the river, from Dange on Dane. Gyanis surprised that after the independence of Lithuania, the former name was not returned, although locals to this day saying the name of the river, sometimes without even noticing, inadvertently inserted the letter "r" - Dange. "About 10 years ago there was an attempt to regain its ancient name of the river, but then, linguists have argued that the name "Dange" is German. However, according to the latest historical research "Dange" is Curonian word meaning "arc" or "corner". So, the river was called before the arrival of the Germans in this region" - says the historian." ( rus.)


The right picture shows Winterhafen quay (Winter Harbor), the sea pilot and against the background - white sea pilotage tower.

Winterhafen it is Memel's harbor section (and the port of Memel), which was built in 1855, but the Port quarter Winterhafen is not mentioned in the German address book of 1858, so it was built later.

White pilotage tower was built in 1807. It was the emblem of Memel in city area Bommelsvitte (or just Vitte). It was standing on the Winter Harbor (Winterhafen), near the northern tip of the Holzstraße (street). Its observation deck offered a magnificent view of the city.

Until today the tower has not survived. At this point (and far around) today is the territory of the port of Klaipeda.

Klaipeda is Lithuania's gate to the sea. More than half of the people living in the port city work as fishermen, sailors, ship builders or in other "sea" professions. The Klaipeda Port is situated at the site where Curonian Lagoon adjoins the Baltic Sea or "flows" into it. From winds and storms the harbour area is protected by Curonian Spit overgrown with not very high trees and brushes. Klaipeda is the only non-freezing port in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea coast. This marine gate of Lithuania is widely used by neighbouring states as well. Therefore, it is also the gate of an international transport corridor for cargoes moving to the East and the West, Klaipeda Port becomes an important unit in the economic system.

Now a little about: why the man in the picture is the pilot.

Due to the German address book from 1909, I found out that at the address: Winterhafen, house number 8-9, was a pilotage hostel.

That was written in German address book:

"Eigentümer: Fiskus (Lotsenwohnheim);

Einwohner: Burnus, E., Seelotse; Kugel, L., Seelotse; Morr, A., Frl. Geschäftsinh. (Konfitürengeschäft Börsenstr. 1-4); Morr, J., Seelotsen-Witwe; Morr, J., Seelotse; Morr, W., Seelotse; Nehrke, K., Seelotse; Nehrke, P., Schlossergeselle; Schultz, W., Seelotse; Seintsch, F., Seeoberlotse; Wetzger, G., Seelotse; Wolff, C., Tischler-Witwe".

As the record shows that in the building were living mostly widows of sea pilots and sea pilots themselves. And only one widow of a carpenter.


The left picture on banknote shows again the view of the city from Winter harbor. In the background, by the silhouette, is pilotage tower visible. The same sea pilot standing on the waterfront.

Around it the flower plexus.

Denominations in numerals are in lower right and left corners.


Klaipėda (former German name: Memel) is a city in Lithuania situated at the mouth of the Danė River where it flows into the Baltic Sea. It is the third largest city in Lithuania and the capital of Klaipėda County.

The city has a complex recorded history, partially due to the combined regional importance of the Port of Klaipėda, a usually ice-free port on the Baltic Sea, and the Akmena - Danė River. It has been controlled by the Teutonic Knights, the Duchy of Prussia, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Entente States immediately after World War I, Lithuania as a result of the 1923 Klaipėda Revolt, and the Third Reich following the 1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania. The city was incorporated into Lithuania during its time as a Soviet Socialist Republic and has remained within Lithuania following its re-establishment as an independent state.

Notgeld (German for "emergency money" or "necessity money") refers to money issued by an institution in a time of economic or political crisis. The issuing institution is usually one without official sanction from the central government. This occurs usually when sufficient state-produced money is not available from the central bank. Most notably, notgeld generally refers to money produced in Germany and Austria during World War I and the Interbellum. Issuing institutions could be a town's savings banks, municipality and private or state-owned firms.

Notgeld was mainly issued in the form of (paper) banknotes. Sometimes other forms were used, as well: coins, leather, silk, linen, postage stamps, aluminium foil, coal, and porcelain; there are also reports of elemental sulfur being used, as well as all sorts of re-used paper and carton material (e.g. playing cards). These pieces made from playing cards are extremely rare and are known as Spielkarten, the German word for "playing card".

Notgeld was a mutually-accepted means of payment in a particular region or locality, but notes could travel widely. Notgeld is different from occupation money that is issued by an occupying army during a war.