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Theresienstadt Ghetto currency donated to Israel's National Library – Israel News



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Money used in the Terezin ghetto

Money used in the ghetto of Terezin.
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / KROKODYL)

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JERUSALEM (JTA) – Coin used in the Theresienstadt Ghetto was donated to the National Library of Israel.

The six accounts that characterize a Star of David and a sketch of Moses holding the Ten Commandments were received by the National Library days before the Yom Hashoah of Israel, or Holocaust Memorial Day. They are worth a total of 263 Kronen, the currency of the ghetto, located in northwestern Czechoslovakia.

Every resident of the ghetto was forced to convert his money and some property into the currency of the camp or ghetto in which he was imprisoned. If someone managed to escape, he could not afford to buy food or clothes.

The accounts were donated by Ruth Brass of Britain in honor of her father, the late Lionel Schalit, a prominent Zionist and community activist and a leader of the Maccabean European Movement.

"It looks like the bank, the bills and the salaries, received by many prisoners during the imprisonment in the ghetto had an additional role: they gave the impression of "normality" of an orderly and routine daily life that the Nazis did in fact try to present to the official representatives of the Red Cross who visited the Terezin Ghetto. The notes present documentation of the scary reality in Holocaust days: imaginary symbols of a "normalcy" that never existed under the shadow of persecution and eradication, "according to Israel National Library specialist Dr. Stefan Litt.

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