Inflation effect on Stamps


Germany is specially noted for that. After the First World War the value of German money dropped to a fantastically unbelievable low, and this is reflected in their stamps. The currency was the ‘pfennig’ and the mark. One hundred pfennigs made a mark.

The inflation was such that the German mark, which could be exchanged for U.S. dollars in 1914 at the rate of approximately 4 marks to the dollar had, by 1923 reached the point where the exchange rate was approaching 1 trillion marks to the dollar.

During the hyperinflation, the men would go to work in the morning and, after sending the children off to school, their wives would make their way to the factory, arriving about an hour after the men. Each hour the men would be paid with a huge handful of high denomination marks for the previous hour’s work. As soon as they were paid they would rush to the exits and give the money to their wives who would then make their way quickly to the store to try to purchase some food. The money was losing value so quickly that, if it wasn’t spent immediately, it would be practically worthless within an hour or so.

People in Germany are constantly bemoaning the fact that their currency is practically worth less. Can you imagine how a German person felt when his country’s money fell so far? Where before he could buy a package of cigarettes or a candy bar for 10 or 15 pfennigs, he would now have to pay anywhere from 50 billion to 100 billion marks for the same purchase!!!

German stamps had been issued in 1-pfennig values upward, and a 1-pfennig stamp would carry a post card, the stamp values rose until they were issued in mark values. The mark continued to drop Soon stamps required to post a letter called for the value of hundreds of marks instead of 2 or 3 pfennigs. The hundreds of marks soon rose again until it took a stamp valued at several thousands of marks. Then again to hundreds of thousands of marks for a stamp to mail a letter. As time went on, the values rose to the millions, and as though there was no end in sight as to the depths the country’s money could drop, finally the values of a single stamp to mail a simple letter rose to several billions of marks.

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