GERMAN CURRENCIES IN OCCUPIED COUNTRIES
With Allied occupation of European countries in its first stages, themonetary problem is one which must be met. Some years ago, the Germansconsidered this situation, and perhaps their experience may be of value.a. The ProblemGerman occupation of foreign countries has given rise to fourdifferent sets of difficulties in the field of finance.(1) The collapse of the currency of the invaded country;(2) Prevention of over-extension of the circulation of Germannational money - the Reichsmark;(3) The re-establishment of local currency, (a) in Russia, (b) incapitalistic countries;(4) Provision for an army currency that could be used by the troops,anywhere that German troops might be. In addition, it was desirable fromthe German viewpoint, to extract from the occupied territories as much goldand silver that they could seize to support the German domestic currency,and to prevent an inflationary price rise in the occupied countries whichwould add to German difficulties.b. Rejected SolutionsAt first glance, it might have seemed the simplest solution to sweepaway all national currencies, and replace them with one general centralEuropean issue controlled by the Reichsbank. This obvious solution,however, was open to objection, as the financial status of the occupied orconquered nations varied greatly -- for example wealthy Holland and povertystricken Croatia; moreover, the degree of punishment meted out to conqueredpeoples differed from one another. Poland and Greece are being wiped out;Holland, Luxemburg, Denmark and others will, if possible, be incorporatedinto the Reich. Therefore no attempt has yet been made to establish ageneral currency. Finally, to have extended the use of the Reichsmark intoconquered countries, another apparently natural step, would have placedGerman national currency, physically, in the hands of people who wereenemies of the Reich.c. The Solution Adopted(1) Reichskreditkassen (Reich Credit Offices)One of the most interesting German innovations in this war was thedevelopment of special itinerant banks of issue to follow the invadingGerman columns and establish themselves in the principal cities in theoccupied areas.These banks, the so-called Reichskreditkassen (Reich Credit Offices),were introduced in the Polish campaign, where they worked in particularlyclose conjunction with the army. On the basis of the Polish experience,certain administrative modifications of the system were made by the decreeof 3 May 1940.