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Ahrweiler District, Weimar Germany, 1 million mark note, acquired by a US soldier 2013.442.32 front

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

One million mark note issued in Ahrweiler District in Germany as emergency currency during the runaway inflation of the 1920s acquired by Captain James Edward Kirkebo, who served in the US Army from 1940-1945, and fought in Europe with the Thunderbolt Division from December 1944-May 1945. Kirkebo, age 19, enlisted in September 1940. In August 1942, 2nd Lieutenant Kirkebo became commanding officer, C Company, 21st Armored Infantry Battalion, 11th Armored Division, Third Army. In December 1944, Kirkebo's unit landed in Normandy, and defended Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. The 11th Armored spearheaded the Allied advance into Germany and pushed through to Austria. Kirkebo received a battlefield promotion to captain on February 1, 1945. On May 5 and 6, soldiers from the 11th Armored liberated Gusen and Mauthausen concentration camps. At Mauthausen, they discovered over 19,000 starving inmates. The unit was tasked with caring for the inmates and improving camp conditions. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. Kirkebo was on occupational duty until October when he returned to the Star for his bravery in action.

One million mark note issued in Ahrweiler District in Germany as emergency currency during the runaway inflation of the 1920s acquired by Captain James Edward Kirkebo, who served in the US Army from 1940-1945, and fought in Europe with the Thunderbolt Division from December 1944-May 1945. Kirkebo, age 19, enlisted in September 1940. In August 1942, 2nd Lieutenant Kirkebo became commanding officer, C Company, 21st Armored Infantry Battalion, 11th Armored Division, Third Army. In December 1944, Kirkebo's unit landed in Normandy, and defended Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. The 11th Armored spearheaded the Allied advance into Germany and pushed through to Austria. Kirkebo received a battlefield promotion to captain on February 1, 1945. On May 5 and 6, soldiers from the 11th Armored liberated Gusen and Mauthausen concentration camps. At Mauthausen, they discovered over 19,000 starving inmates. The unit was tasked with caring for the inmates and improving camp conditions. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. Kirkebo was on occupational duty until October when he returned to the Star for his bravery in action.

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  • Title: Ahrweiler District, Weimar Germany, 1 million mark note, acquired by a US soldier 2013.442.32 front
  • Provenance: The currency was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by Jamie Kirkebo, on behalf of the Estate of his father, James Edward Kirkebo., The currency was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by Jamie Kirkebo, on behalf of the Estate of his father, James Edward Kirkebo.
  • Subject Keywords: Soldiers--United States--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Western Front--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American., Soldiers--United States--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Western Front--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.
  • Type: Exchange Media, Exchange Media
  • Rights: Permanent Collection, Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Rectangular currency on diamond patterned watermarked paper with orange, green, and purple ink. On the right of the face is a narrow vertical rectangle bordered with circles and an Art Deco background with the serial number and a Landrat Ahrweiler seal with an eagle in purple ink. A rectangle with a purple and white flowered border and patterned orange background covers the remainder of the face. The denomination 1000000 in green underprint is in the center below the denomination Eine Million. There are several more lines of German text and engraved signatures. The reverse inverts the rectangle design. The large, left rectangle has the orange background overlaid with a green square en pointe, 4 small squares, text, and 1000000 and Eine Million Mark. The smaller rectangle repeats the district name. The note is slightly discolored., Rectangular currency on diamond patterned watermarked paper with orange, green, and purple ink. On the right of the face is a narrow vertical rectangle bordered with circles and an Art Deco background with the serial number and a Landrat Ahrweiler seal with an eagle in purple ink. A rectangle with a purple and white flowered border and patterned orange background covers the remainder of the face. The denomination 1000000 in green underprint is in the center below the denomination Eine Million. There are several more lines of German text and engraved signatures. The reverse inverts the rectangle design. The large, left rectangle has the orange background overlaid with a green square en pointe, 4 small squares, text, and 1000000 and Eine Million Mark. The smaller rectangle repeats the district name. The note is slightly discolored.

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