Deutsche Mark

The Deutsche Mark (German: [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈmaɐ̯k] (listen), "German mark"), abbreviated "DM" or "D-Mark" , was the official currency of West Germany from 1948 until 1990 and later the unified Germany from 1990 until 2002. It was first issued under Allied occupation in 1948 to replace the Reichsmark, and served as the Federal Republic of Germany's official currency from its founding the following year until the adoption of the euro. In English it is commonly called the "Deutschmark" (/ˈdɔɪtʃmɑːrk/); this expression is unknown in Germany. The Germans usually called it D-Mark when referring to the currency, and Mark when talking about individual sums.

In 1999, the Deutsche Mark was replaced by the Euro; its coins and banknotes remained in circulation, defined in terms of euros, until the introduction of euro notes and coins on 1 January 2002. The Deutsche Mark ceased to be legal tender immediately upon the introduction of the euro — in contrast to the other eurozone nations, where the euro and legacy currency circulated side by side for up to two months. Mark coins and banknotes continued to be accepted as valid forms of payment in Germany until 28 February 2002.

The Deutsche Bundesbank has guaranteed that all German marks in cash form may be changed into euros indefinitely, and one may do so in person at any branch of the Bundesbank in Germany. Banknotes and coins can even be sent to the Bundesbank by mail.[2] In 2012, it was estimated that as many as 13.2 billion marks were in circulation, with one poll showing a narrow majority of Germans favouring the currency's restoration (although a minority believed this wouldn't bring any economic benefit).[3]

On 31 December 1998, the Council of the European Union fixed the irrevocable exchange rate, effective 1 January 1999, for German mark to euros as DM 1.95583 = €1.[4]

One Deutsche Mark was divided into 100 Pfennige.

Deutsche Mark
Deutsche Mark (German)
Marka Gjermane (Albanian)
Njemačka marka (Croatian)
Nemačka marka / Немачка марка (Serbian)
100 Mark (O)
DM 100 banknote
ISO 4217
 Freq. usedDM 10, DM 20, DM 50, DM 100, DM 200
 Rarely usedDM 5, DM 500, DM 1000
 Freq. used1 pf, 2 pf, 5 pf, 10 pf, 50 pf, DM 1, DM 2, DM 5
Official user(s)
Unofficial user(s)United Nations Kosovo (under UNMIK)[a] (1999–2002)[1]
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–1998)
Montenegro Montenegro (1999–2002, in parallel with the Yugoslav dinar until 2000)
Central bankDeutsche Bundesbank
Inflation1.4%, December 2001
Pegged byBosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark, Bulgarian lev at par
 Since13 March 1979
 Fixed rate since31 December 1998
 Replaced by €, non cash1 January 1999
 Replaced by €, cash1 January 2002/28 February 2002
=DM 1.95583
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.


Before 1871

A mark had been the currency of Germany since its original unification in 1871. Before that time, the different German states issued a variety of different currencies, though most were linked to the Vereinsthaler, a silver coin containing ​16 23 grams of pure silver. Although the mark was based on gold rather than silver, a fixed exchange rate between the Vereinsthaler and the mark of 3 marks = 1 Vereinsthaler was used for the conversion.


The first mark, known as the Goldmark, was introduced in 1873. With the outbreak of World War I, the mark was taken off the gold standard. The currency thus became known as the Papiermark, especially as high inflation, then hyperinflation occurred and the currency became exclusively made up of paper money. The Papiermark was replaced by the Rentenmark (RM) from November 15, 1923, and the Reichsmark (ℛℳ) in 1924.

Early military occupation following WWII

During the first two years of occupation the occupying powers of France, United Kingdom, United States, and the Soviet Union were not able to successfully negotiate a possible currency reform in Germany. Due to the strains between the Allies each zone was governed independently as regards monetary matters. The US occupation policy was governed by the directive JCS 1067 (in effect until July 1947), which forbade the US military governor "to take any steps to strengthen German financial structure".[5] As a consequence a separate monetary reform in the U.S. zone was not possible.[5] Each of the Allies printed its own occupation currency.

Currency reform of June 1948

The Deutsche Mark was officially introduced on Sunday, June 20, 1948 by Ludwig Erhard. The old Reichsmark and Rentenmark were exchanged for the new currency at a rate of DM 1 = RM 1 for the essential currency such as wages, payment of rents etc., and DM 1 = RM 10 for the remainder in private non-bank credit balances, with half frozen. Large amounts were exchanged for RM 10 to 65 Pfennig. In addition, each person received a per capita allowance of DM 60 in two parts, the first being DM 40 and the second DM 20.[6]

A few weeks later Erhard, acting against orders, issued an edict abolishing many economic controls which had been originally implemented by the Nazis, and which the Allies had not removed. He did this, as he often confessed, on Sunday because the offices of the American, British, and French occupation authorities were closed that day. He was sure that if he had done it when they were open, they would have countermanded the order.[7]

The introduction of the new currency was intended to protect western Germany from a second wave of hyperinflation and to stop the rampant barter and black market trade (where American cigarettes acted as currency). Although the new currency was initially only distributed in the three western occupation zones outside Berlin, the move angered the Soviet authorities, who regarded it as a threat. The Soviets promptly cut off all road, rail and canal links between the three western zones and West Berlin, starting the Berlin Blockade. In response, the U.S. and Britain launched an airlift of food and coal and distributed the new currency in West Berlin as well.

Economics of 1948 currency reform

Since the 1930s, prices and wages had been controlled, but money had been plentiful. That meant that people had accumulated large paper assets, and that official prices and wages did not reflect reality, as the black market dominated the economy and more than half of all transactions were taking place unofficially. The reform replaced the old money with the new Deutsche Mark at the rate of one new per ten old. This wiped out 90% of government and private debt, as well as private savings. Prices were decontrolled, and labor unions agreed to accept a 15% wage increase, despite the 25% rise in prices. The result was the prices of German export products held steady, while profits and earnings from exports soared and were poured back into the economy. The currency reforms were simultaneous with the $1.4 billion in Marshall Plan money coming in from the United States, which primarily was used for investment. In addition, the Marshall plan forced German companies, as well as those in all of Western Europe, to modernize their business practices, and take account of the wider market. Marshall plan funding overcame bottlenecks in the surging economy caused by remaining controls (which were removed in 1949), and opened up a greatly expanded market for German exports. Overnight, consumer goods appeared in the stores, because they could be sold for higher prices.[8][9] While the availability of consumers goods is seen as a giant success story by most historians of the present, the perception at the time was a different one: prices were so high that average people could not afford to shop, especially since prices were free-ranging but wages still fixed by law. Therefore, in the summer of 1948 a giant wave of strikes and demonstrations swept over West Germany, leading to an incident in Stuttgart where strikers were met by US tanks ("Stuttgarter Vorfälle"). Only after the wage-freeze was abandoned, Deutschmark and free-ranging prices were accepted by the population.[10]

Currency reform in the Soviet occupation zone

In the Soviet occupation zone of Germany (later the German Democratic Republic), the East German mark (also named "Deutsche Mark" from 1948 to 1964 and colloquially referred to as the Ostmark — literally Eastmark) was introduced a few days afterwards in the form of Reichsmark and Rentenmark notes with adhesive stamps to stop the flooding in of Reichsmark and Rentenmark notes from the West. In July 1948, a completely new series of East German mark banknotes was issued.

Bank deutscher Länder and the Deutsche Bundesbank

Later in 1948, the Bank deutscher Länder ("Bank of the German States") assumed responsibility, followed in 1957 by the Deutsche Bundesbank. The Deutsche Mark earned a reputation as a strong store of value at times when other national currencies succumbed to periods of inflation. It became a source of national pride and an anchor for the country's economic prosperity, particularly during the years of the Wirtschaftswunder in the 1950s. In the 1990s, opinion polls showed a majority of Germans opposed to the adoption of the euro; polls today show a significant number would prefer to return to the mark.

Currency Union with the Saarland

The population in the Saar Protectorate rejected in a referendum the proposal to turn it into a "European territory". Despite French pre-referendum claims that a "no" vote would mean that the Saar would remain a French protectorate it in fact resulted in the incorporation of the Saar into the Federal Republic of Germany on January 1, 1957. The new German member state of the Saarland maintained its currency, the Saar franc, which was in a currency union at par with the French franc. On July 9, 1959 the Deutsche Mark replaced the Saar franc at a ratio of 100 francs = DM 0.8507.

German reunification

The Deutsche Mark played an important role in the reunification of Germany. It was introduced as the official currency of East Germany in July 1990, replacing the East German mark (Mark der DDR), in preparation for unification on 3 October 1990. East German marks were exchanged for German marks at a rate of 1:1 for the first 4000 marks and 2:1 for larger amounts. Before reunification, each citizen of East Germany coming to West Germany was given Begrüßungsgeld (welcome money), a per capita allowance of DM 100 in cash. The government of Germany and the Bundesbank were in major disagreement over the exchange rate between the East German mark and the German mark.

France and the United Kingdom were opposed to German reunification, and attempted to influence the Soviet Union to stop it.[11] However, in late 1989 France extracted German commitment to the Monetary Union in return for support for German reunification.[12]


The German mark had a reputation as one of the world's most stable currencies; this was based on the monetary policy of the Bundesbank. The policy was "hard" in relation to the policies of certain other central banks in Europe. The "hard" and "soft" was in respect to the aims of inflation and political interference. This policy was the foundation of the European Central Bank's present policy towards the euro. The German mark's stability was greatly apparent in 1993, when speculation on the French franc and other European currencies caused a change in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. However, it should be remembered that "hard" is relative only if it is compared to other currencies, as in its 53-year history, the purchasing power of the German mark was reduced by over 70%.


The first Deutsche Mark coins were issued by the Bank deutscher Länder in 1948 and 1949. From 1950, the inscription Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany) appeared on the coins. These coins were issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, and 10 pfennigs. The 1- and 2-pfennig coins were struck in bronze clad steel (although during some years the 2 pfennigs was issued in solid bronze) while 5 and 10 pfennigs were brass clad steel. In 1950, cupronickel 50-pfennig and 1-mark coins were released, while a cupronickel 2 marks and a .625 silver 5 marks were released in 1951. Cupronickel replaced silver in the 5 marks in 1975. The 2- and 5-mark coins have often been used for commemorative themes, though typically only the generic design for the 5 marks is intended for circulation. Commemorative silver 10-mark coins have also been issued which have periodically found their way into circulation. Unlike other European countries, Germany retained the use of the smallest coins (1 and 2 pfennigs) until adoption of the euro.

Image Denomination Dates issued Composition Obverse[13] Reverse
1 pfennig 1 pfennig 1948–2001 1948–1949: Bronze-plated steel
1950–2001: Copper-plated steel
Denomination between rye stalks Oak sprig
2 pfennig 2 pfennigs 1950–2001 1950–1968: Bronze
1968–2001: Bronze-plated steel
Denomination between rye stalks Oak sprig
5 pfennig 5 pfennigs 1949–2001 Brass-plated steel Denomination between rye stalks Oak sprig
10 pfennig 10 pfennigs 1949–2001 Brass-plated steel Denomination between rye stalks Oak sprig
50 pfennig 50 pfennigs 1949–2001 Cupro-nickel Denomination Woman planting an oak seedling[14]
1 Deutsche Mark DM 1 1950–2001 Cupro-nickel Denomination between oak leaves German eagle
2 Deutsche Mark DM 2 1951–1956 Cupro-nickel Denomination between rye stalks and grapes[15] German eagle
2DM-Planck 2 1957–1971 Cupro-nickel Max Planck German eagle,

denomination below

1969–2001 Cupro-nickel (Cu 75% Ni 25%) 1969–1987: Konrad Adenauer
1970–1987: Theodor Heuss
1979–1993: Kurt Schumacher
1988–2001: Ludwig Erhard
1990–2001: Franz Josef Strauss
1994–2001: Willy Brandt
German eagle,

denomination below

5 Deutsche Mark DM 5 1951–1974 .625 silver (Ag 62.5% Cu 37.5%) Denomination German eagle
5 Deutsche Mark 1975–2001 Cupro-nickel (Cu 75% Ni 25%) Denomination German eagle

The weights and dimensions of the coins can be found in an FAQ of the Bundesbank.[16]

Unlike other countries (such as Australia) there was no attempt or proposal suggested for the withdrawal of the 1- and 2-pfennig coins. Both coins were still in circulation in 2001 and supermarkets in particular still marked prices to the nearest pfennig. This penchant for accuracy continues with the euro (while Finland or the Netherlands for example, price to the nearest 5 cents) with the 1-cent coin still encountered in Germany.

There were a considerable number of commemorative silver DM 5 and DM 10 coins, which actually had the status of legal tender but were rarely seen outside of collectors' circles.

Deutsche Mark(Gold-2001)
Obverse view of the 2001 special gold issue of the DM 1 coin

On 27 December 2000, the German government enacted a law authorizing the Bundesbank to issue, in 2001, a special .999 pure gold 1-mark coin commemorating the end of the German mark. The coin had the exact design and dimensions of the circulating cupro-nickel DM 1 coin, with the exception of the inscription on the reverse, which read "Deutsche Bundesbank" (instead of "Bundesrepublik Deutschland"), as the Bundesbank was the issuing authority in this case. A total of one million gold 1-mark coins were minted (200,000 at each of the five mints) and were sold beginning in mid-2001 through German coin dealers on behalf of the Bundesbank. The issue price varied by dealer but averaged approximately 165 United States dollars.

German coins bear a mint mark, indicating where the coin was minted. D indicates Munich, F Stuttgart, G Karlsruhe and J Hamburg. Coins minted during the Second World War include the mint marks A (Berlin) and B (Vienna). The mint mark A was also used for German mark coins minted in Berlin beginning in 1990 following the reunification of Germany. These mint marks have been continued on the German euro coins.

Between July 1, 1990 (the currency union with East Germany) and July 1, 1991, East German coins in denominations up to 50 pfennigs continued to circulate as Deutsche Mark coins at their face value, owing to a temporary shortage of small coins. These coins were legal tender only in the territory of the former East Germany.

Colloquial expressions

In colloquial German the 10-pfennig coin was sometimes called a groschen (cf. groat). Likewise, sechser (sixer) could refer to a coin of 5 pfennigs. Both colloquialisms refer to several pre-1871 currencies of the previously independent states (notably Prussia), where a groschen was subdivided into 12 pfennigs, hence half a groschen into 6. After 1871, 12 old pfennigs would be converted into 10 pfennigs of the mark, hence 10-pfennig coins inherited the "Groschen" name and 5-pfennig coins inherited the "sechser" name. Both usages are only regional and may not be understood in areas where a Groschen coin did not exist before 1871. In particular, the usage of "sechser" is less widespread. In northern Germany the 5-mark coin used to be also called "Heiermann" (etymology is unclear), whereas in Bavaria the 2-mark coin was called "Zwickl" (as the €2 coin is now).


FRG-2a-Allied West Germany-1 Deutsche Mark (1948)
One Deutsche Mark (1948), first series, Allied military issue.

There were four series of German mark banknotes:

  • The first was issued in 1948 by the Allied military. There were denominations of ​12, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 marks, with two designs of 20 and 50 Mark notes.
  • The second series (BdL) was introduced in 1948 by the Bank deutscher Länder, an institution of the western occupation government. The designs were similar to the US Dollar and French franc, as the job of designing and printing the different denominations was shared between the Bank of France and the American Bank Note Company. There were denominations of 5 and 10 pfennigs, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 marks. The last of the banknotes (5 and 10 marks) were phased out by July 31, 1966.
  • The third series (I/Ia BBk) was introduced in 1960 by the Bundesbank, depicting neutral symbols, paintings by the German painter Albrecht Dürer, and buildings. There were denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 marks. The series ceased to be legal tender on June 30, 1995.
  • The fourth (BBk III/III a) was introduced in 1990 by the Bundesbank to counter advances in forgery technology. The notes depicted German artists and scientists together with symbols and tools of their trade. This series added a 200-mark denomination, to decrease the use of 100-mark banknotes, which made up 54% of all circulating banknotes, and to fill the gap between the DM 100 and DM 500 denominations. In 1997-1998, new versions of DM 50, DM 100 and DM 200 were issued with improved security elements.

The notes with a value greater than 200 marks were rarely seen.

A reserve series (BBk II) was commissioned on July 1, 1960, consisting of 10, 20, 50 and 100 mark banknotes. 670 million BBk II banknotes in value of 25 billion marks were printed. The notes were printed between 1963 and 1974 in fear if the Eastern Bloc would start systematically counterfeiting the BBk I series of banknotes to cripple the economy, then they would quickly be replaced by emergency notes. Another reserve series for West Berlin (BBk IIa) was commissioned on July 1, 1963, consisting of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 mark banknotes. 115 million West Berlin banknotes were printed, total value 4 billion marks. 15 billion marks worth of the banknotes were held in Bundesbank's custom-built underground bunker in Cochem in Rheinland-Pfalz, the rest was stored in Bundesbank's vault in Frankfurt.

Banknotes of the fourth series

The design of German banknotes remained unchanged during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. During this period, forgery technology made significant advances and so, in the late 1980s, the Bundesbank decided to issue a new series of Deutsche Mark banknotes. The colours for each denomination remained unchanged from the previous series but the designs underwent significant changes and a DM 200 denomination was introduced. Famous national artists and scientists were chosen to be portrayed on the new banknotes. Male and female artists were chosen in equal numbers. The buildings in the background of the notes' obverses had a close relationship to the person displayed (e.g., place of birth, place of death, place of work), as well as the second background picture (Lyra and the musician Schumann). The reverses of the notes refer to the work of the person on the obverse.

The new security features were: a windowed security thread (with the notes' denominations in microprinting), watermarks, microprinting, intaglio printing (viewing-angle dependent visibility as well as a Braille representation of the notes denomination), colour-shifting ink (on the DM 500 and 1000 denominations), a see-through registration device and ultraviolet-visible security features.

First to be issued were the DM 100 and 200 denominations on 1 October 1990 (although the banknote shows "Frankfurt am Main, 2. Januar 1989"). The next denomination was DM 10 on 16 April 1991, followed by DM 50 on 30 September 1991.[17] Next was the DM 20 note on 20 March 1992 (printed on 2 August 1991). The reason for this gradual introduction was, that public should become familiar with one single denomination, before introducing a new one. The change was finished with the introduction of the DM 5, DM 500, and DM 1000 denominations on 27 October 1992. The last three denominations were rarely seen in circulation and were introduced in one step. With the advance of forgery technology, the Bundesbank decided to introduce additional security features on the most important denominations (DM 50, 100 and 200) as of 1996. These were a hologram foil in the center of the note's obverse, a matted printing on the note's right obverse, showing its denomination (like on the reverse of the new €5, €10, and €20 banknotes), and the EURion constellation on the note's reverse. Furthermore, the colours were changed slightly to hamper counterfeiting.

5 Mark (O)
Obverse: Bettina von Arnim
5 Mark (R)
Reverse: Brandenburg Gate
10 Mark (O)
Obverse: Carl Friedrich Gauss
10 Mark (R)
Reverse: Sextant
20 Mark (O)
Obverse: A. von Droste-Hülshoff
20 Mark (Re)
Reverse: Quill Pen
100 Mark (O)
Obverse: Clara Schumann
100 Mark (R)
Reverse: Grand Piano

Spelling and pronunciation

The German name of the currency is Deutsche Mark (fem., German pronunciation: [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈmaʁk]); its plural form in standard German is the same as the singular. In German, the adjective "deutsche" (adjective for "German" in feminine singular nominative form) is capitalized because it is part of a proper name, while the noun "Mark", like all German nouns, is always capitalized. The English loanword "Deutschmark" has a slightly different spelling and one syllable fewer (possibly due to the frequency of silent e in English), and a plural form in -s.

In Germany and other German speaking countries, the currency's name was often abbreviated as D-Mark (fem., [ˈdeːmaʁk]) or simply Mark (fem.) with the latter term also often used in English. Like Deutsche Mark, D-Mark and Mark do not take the plural in German when used with numbers (like all names of units), the singular being used to refer to any amount of money (e.g. eine (one) Mark and dreißig (thirty) Mark). Sometimes, a very colloquial plural form of Mark, Märker [ˈmɛʁkɐ] was used either as hypocoristic form or to refer to a small number of D-Mark coins or bills, e.g. Gib mir mal ein paar Märker ("Just give me a few marks") and Die lieben Märker wieder ("The lovely money again", with an ironic undertone).

The subdivision unit is spelled Pfennig (masc.; [ˈpfɛnɪç]), which unlike Mark does have a commonly used plural form: Pfennige ([ˈpfɛnɪɡə]), but the singular could also be used instead with no difference in meaning. (e.g.: ein (one) Pfennig, dreißig (thirty) Pfennige or dreißig (thirty) Pfennig). The official form is singular.

Reserve currency

Before the switch to the euro, the Deutsche Mark was the largest international reserve currency after the United States dollar.

The percental composition of currencies of official foreign exchange reserves from 1995 to 2017.[18][19][20]

  German mark

See also


  1. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognized as an independent state by 113 out of 193 United Nations member states, 10 of which have subsequently withdrawn recognition.


  1. ^ "Kosovo adopts Deutschmark". BBC. 3 September 1999. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Exchanging DM for euro". Bundesbank. Archived from the original on 2015-01-03. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
  3. ^ "Why are Germans still using the deutsche mark?". 19 July 2012. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Determination of the euro conversion rates". European Central Bank. 1999-01-01. Archived from the original on 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  5. ^ a b Nicholas Balabkins, "Germany Under Direct Controls: Economic Aspects of Industrial Disarmament 1945–1948", Rutgers University Press, 1964 p. 145
  6. ^ Archived 2017-01-24 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 2015-01-04
  7. ^ Tyler Cowen, "The Marshall Plan: myths and realities" in U.S. Aid to the Developing World, A Free Market Agenda Archived 2011-01-22 at the Wayback Machine, Heritage Foundation, p.65
  8. ^ Tipton, Frank B. (2003). History of Modern Germany since 1815. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 511–13. ISBN 0-520-24050-2.
  9. ^ Sauermann, Heinz (1950). "The Consequences of the Currency Reform in Western Germany". Review of Politics. 12 (2): 175–196. JSTOR 1405052.
  10. ^ Jörg Roesler: Die Stuttgarter Vorfälle vom Oktober 1948. Zur Entstehung der Sozialen Marktwirtschaft in der Bundesrepublik Deutschlands, in: Jahrbuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung, No I/2007; Uwe Fuhrmann: Stuttgart 48 und die soziale Marktwirtschaft, in: Fuhrman et. a. (eds.): Ignoranz und Inszenierung, Münster 2012
  11. ^ "Thatcher told Gorbachev Britain did not want German reunification". Michael Binyon. London: Times. September 11, 2009. Archived from the original on May 4, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-06.
  12. ^ Ben Knight (2009-11-08). "Germany's neighbors try to redeem their 1989 negativity". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  13. ^ "Coins of the Federal Republic of Germany". Coin and banknote collection. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  14. ^ The sculptor Richard Martin Werner designed the woman relief after his wife Gerda Johanna Werner (in German).
  15. ^ Archived 2018-04-27 at the Wayback Machine Withdrawn on 1 July 1958 over confusion with the similarly designed 1 DM
  16. ^ "Deutsche Mark coins". Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  17. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Federal Republic of Germany". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: Archived from the original on 2012-08-29.
  18. ^ For 1995–99, 2006–17: "Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER)". Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund. August 14, 2018.
  19. ^ For 1999–2005: International Relations Committee Task Force on Accumulation of Foreign Reserves (February 2006), The Accumulation of Foreign Reserves (PDF), Occasional Paper Series, Nr. 43, Frankfurt am Main: European Central Bank, ISSN 1607-1484ISSN 1725-6534 (online).
  20. ^ Review of the International Role of the Euro (PDF), Frankfurt am Main: European Central Bank, December 2005, ISSN 1725-2210ISSN 1725-6593 (online).

External links

Preceded by:
Reichsmark, Rentenmark, AM-Mark
Reason: intended to protect West Germany from the second wave of hyperinflation and stop the rampant barter and black market trade
Ratio: 1 DM = 1 RM (either) below 600 RM
1 DM = 10 RM above 600 RM
and each person received 40 DM
Currency of West Germany (incl. West Berlin)
21 (24 W-Berlin) June 1948 – 30 June 1990
Note: except of the state of the Saarland (1957–1959)
Currency of Germany
1 July 1990 – 31 December 2001
Note: euro existed as money of account since 1 January 1999, with DM coins and banknotes being the German appearance of the euro
Succeeded by:
Reason: deployment of euro cash
Ratio: 1 euro = 1.95583 Deutsche Mark
Preceded by:
French franc and Saar Franc
Reason: currency union (9 July 1959), after the Saarland had joined West Germany (1 January 1957)
Ratio: 100 Francs = 0.8507 Deutsche Mark
Preceded by:
Mark of the GDR
Reason: currency union (1 July 1990) preparing the German reunification (3 October 1990)
Ratio: at par up to 4000 GDR marks
2 GDR marks = 1 DM above 4000 GDR marks
Preceded by:
Yugoslav new dinar
Reason: political and economic reasons
Currency of Kosovo, Montenegro
1999 – 31 December 2001
Bank deutscher Länder

The Bank deutscher Länder (Bank of German States), abbreviation BdL, was the first central bank for the Deutsche Mark. It was founded on 1 March 1948 and was replaced in 1957 by the Deutsche Bundesbank.

The main task of the BdL was to manage currency policy in the American and British occupation zones in Germany (Bizone). On 21 June 1948 the Bank deutscher Länder introduced the Deutsche Mark currency in the three western zones of occupation. On 1 November 1948, state central banks in the French zone, which had adopted the Deutsche Mark in June too, joined the BdL. In May 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was founded, however, the BdL remained subject to the control of the three Western Allied powers—the United States, the United Kingdom and France until 1951. Later, BdL became an independent agency of the West German states, similar to the concept of independence displayed by the Federal Reserve System in the United States.

In the process of introducing the Deutsche Mark in 1948, the states' central banks (German: Landeszentralbanken, LZB), then entities of the individual German states, founded the Bank deutscher Länder as their subsidiary for the central purpose of issuing the new currency, avoiding thus conflicts among the states.

The capital stock of the BdL, 100,000 Deutsche Mark, was given by the LZB. When the BdL was established, 300 people worked there, but by 1949, their number had already increased to 1,450. The headquarters of the BdL was located in Frankfurt am Main.

Institutions of the BdL were the board of directors and the Zentralbankrat (Central banking council), consisting of the nine presidents of the Landeszentralbanken. These officials elected the president of the board of directors, who then chose the other members of the board. The board's task was to enforce the resolutions of the Zentralbankrat.

Effective 1 August 1957, the BdL and the central banks of the German states were merged in the new Deutsche Bundesbank with the Landeszentralbanken transformed into mere subsidiaries of the Bundesbank in accordance with the Federal law establishing the Bundesbank.

Deutsche Bundesbank

The Deutsche Bundesbank (pronounced [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈbʊndəsˌbaŋk]) is the central bank of the Federal Republic of Germany and as such part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). Due to its strength and former size, the Bundesbank is the most influential member of the ESCB. Both the Bundesbank and the European Central Bank (ECB) are located in Frankfurt, Germany. It is sometimes referred to as "Buba" for Bundesbank, while its official abbreviation is BBk.The Bundesbank was established in 1957 and succeeded the Bank deutscher Länder, which introduced the Deutsche Mark on 20 June 1948. Until the euro was physically introduced in 2002, the Bundesbank was the central bank of the former Deutsche Mark ("German Mark", sometimes known in English as the "Deutschmark").The Bundesbank was the first central bank to be given full independence, leading this form of central bank to be referred to as the Bundesbank model, as opposed, for instance, to the New Zealand model, which has a goal (i.e. inflation target) set by the government. Nowadays, the ECB also uses the Bundesbank model, making the concept the foundation of the entire Euro system.

The Bundesbank was greatly respected for its control of inflation through the second half of the 20th century. This made the German Mark one of the most respected currencies, and the Bundesbank gained substantial indirect influence in many European countries.

Die Ratten

Die Ratten (English: The Rats) is a 1955 West German drama film directed by Robert Siodmak. It is an adaptation of the play The Rats by Gerhart Hauptmann which transferred the story in the early fifties, shortly after the Second World War. It tells the story of the destitute Pole Pauline, who sells her illegitimate baby for a few hundred Deutsche Mark to the childless forwarder's wife Anna John. The film won the Golden Bear award.

East German mark

The East German mark (German: Mark der DDR ), commonly called the eastern mark (Ostmark in West Germany and after the reunification), in East Germany only Mark, was the currency of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Its ISO 4217 currency code was DDM. The currency was known officially as the Deutsche Mark from 1948 to 1964, Mark der Deutschen Notenbank from 1964 to 1967, and from 1968 to 1990 as the Mark der DDR (Mark of the GDR). It was divided into 100 Pfennig (Pf).

Gehry Tower

Gehry Tower is a nine-story building constructed by architect Frank Gehry; it is located at the Steintor, Goethestraße 13a, in Hanover, Germany. The building was commissioned by the city-owned Hanover Transport Services (üstra), for whom Gehry also designed a bus stop in the city.

Constructed of stainless steel, the tower is memorable for the noticeable twist in its outer façade on a ferroconcrete core, making optimal use of the relatively small piece of ground on which it is located. Like many of Gehry's buildings, the tower was created with the most modern technology available at the time. Gehry's office first created a 1:100 model, which was then scanned and imported into CAD software to be able to compute the dimensions for the individual parts, all of which vary in size and shape.

Construction began in 1999, cost 8.5 million Deutsche Mark, and the building was officially opened 28 June 2001, two months and fourteen days before 11 September 2001.

German Rentenmark

The Rentenmark ([ˈʁɛntn̩ˌmaʁk] pronunciation ; RM) was a currency issued on 15 November 1923 to stop the hyperinflation of 1922 and 1923 in Weimar Germany, after the previously used "paper" Mark had become almost worthless. The name literally meant "pension mark", in order to signal that pensions were secure. It was subdivided into 100 Rentenpfennig and was expanded in 1924 by the Reichsmark.

Indian rupee exchange rate history

This is a list tables showing the historical timeline of the exchange rate for the Indian rupee (INR) against various currencies.


Fraunhofer l3enc was the first public software able to encode PCM (.wav) files to the MP3 format. The first public version was released on July 13, 1994. This commandline tool was shareware and limited to 112 kbit/s. It was available for MS-DOS, Linux, Solaris, SunOS, NeXTstep and IRIX. A licence that allowed full use (encoding up to 320 kbit/s) cost 350 Deutsche Mark, or about 250 US$.

Since the release (9 September 1995) of Fraunhofer WinPlay3, the first real-time MP3 software player, people were able to store and play back MP3 files on PCs. For full playback quality (stereo) one would have needed to meet the minimum requirements of a 486DX2/66 processor.

By the end of 1997 l3enc stopped being developed in favour of the development of MP3enc, which is the successor to l3enc. It was often referred to as the “gold standard of encoders”. It was available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, SunOS, IRIX and Alpha. Development of MP3enc stopped in late 1998 to favour development of a parallel branch FhG had been developing for some time, called Fastenc. None of these programs are still marketed.

An mp3 Surround encoder and mp3HD codec and Software Tools are now promoted on the Fraunhofer MP3 website.

List of commemorative coins of Germany

This is a list of commemorative coins issued by the Federal Republic of Germany. For regular coins, see Deutsche Mark and German euro coins. Those prior to 2002 were denominated in Deutsche Marks; subsequent ones have been denominated in euros.

Mark (currency)

The mark was a currency or unit of account in many nations. It is named for the mark unit of weight. The word mark comes from a merging of three Teutonic/Germanic words, Latinised in 9th-century post-classical Latin as marca, marcha, marha or marcus. It was a measure of weight mainly for gold and silver, commonly used throughout Western Europe and often equivalent to eight ounces. Considerable variations, however, occurred throughout the Middle Ages.As of 2018, the only circulating currency named "mark" is the Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark.

Montenegrin perper

The perper (Serbian: Перпер; plural перпери) was the currency of Montenegro between 1906 and 1916. It was divided into 100 para.

At the end of the 20th century, Montenegro contemplated issuing the perper again. However, it decided to adopt the Deutsche mark instead, and later followed the change to the euro.

Montenegro and the euro

Montenegro has no currency of its own. From 1996 the Deutsche Mark was the de facto currency in all private and banking transactions and it was formally adopted as Montenegro's currency in November 1999. The mark was replaced by the euro in 2002 without any objections from the European Central Bank (ECB).The European Commission and the ECB have since voiced their discontent over Montenegro's unilateral use of the euro on several occasions, with Amelia Torres, a spokesperson for the European Commission, saying "The conditions for the adoption of the euro are clear. That means, first and foremost, to be a member of the EU.” A statement attached to their Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU read: "unilateral introduction of the euro was not compatible with the Treaty."The EU insists on the strict adherence to convergence criteria (such as spending at least 2 years in the ERMII system) which are not negotiable before euro adoption, but have not intervened to stop the unilateral use of the euro by Montenegro. The EU has raised concerns of Montenegro's state debt, which had risen to 57 percent of GDP by 2011.Officials from the Central Bank of Montenegro have indicated on several occasions that the European institutions do expect them to strictly follow ERM rules, particularly because of their EU accession process. Nikola Fabris, chief economist of the Central Bank of Montenegro, has said that the situation was different when they adopted the euro, and that other states which were considering unilaterally adopting the euro, such as Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, would face sanctions from the EU and have their accession process suspended if they went ahead.On 17 December 2010 Montenegro was granted candidate status to join the European Union. The issue is expected to be resolved through the negotiations process. The ECB has stated that the implications of unilateral euro adoption "would be spelled out at the latest in the event of possible negotiations on EU accession." Diplomats have suggested that it is unlikely Montenegro will be forced to withdraw the euro from circulation in their country. Radoje Žugić, Montenegro's Minister of Finance, has stated that "it would be extremely economically irrational to return to our own currency and then later to again go back to the euro." Instead, he hopes that Montenegro will be permitted to keep the euro and has promised "the government of Montenegro will adopt some certain elements which should fulfil the conditions for further use of the euro, such as adopting fiscal rules."Unlike official members of the eurozone, Montenegro does not mint coins and therefore has no distinctive national design.

Plaza Accord

Announcement of the Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors of France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, commonly known as The Plaza Accord or Plaza Agreement, was an agreement joint by 5 major industry countries of France, West Germany, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom, to depreciate the U.S. dollar in relation to the Japanese yen and German Deutsche Mark by intervening in currency markets. The five governments signed the accord on September 22, 1985 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The U.S. dollar depreciated significantly since the agreement until it is replaced by Louvre Accord in 1987.


The Reichsmark (German: [ˈʁaɪçsˌmaɐ̯k] (listen); sign: ℛℳ) was the currency in Germany from 1924 until 20 June 1948 in West Germany, where it was replaced with the Deutsche Mark, and until 23 June in East Germany when it was replaced by the East German mark. The Reichsmark was subdivided into 100 Reichspfennig. The Mark is an ancient Germanic weight measure, traditionally a half pound, later used for several coins; whereas Reich, that is realm in English, comes from the official name for the German nation state from 1871 to 1945, Deutsches Reich.

Run Lola Run

Run Lola Run (German: Lola rennt) is a 1998 German thriller film written and directed by Tom Tykwer, and starring Franka Potente as Lola and Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni. The story follows a woman who needs to obtain 100,000 Deutsche Mark in twenty minutes to save her boyfriend's life. The film was released on DVD on 21 December 1999 and on Blu-ray on 19 February 2008.

Run Lola Run screened at the Venice Film Festival, where it competed for the Golden Lion. Following its release, the film received critical acclaim and several accolades, including the Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics, the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival, and seven awards at the German Film Awards. It was also selected as the German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 71st Academy Awards, though it was not ultimately nominated.

Settlement risk

Settlement risk is the risk that a counterparty (or intermediary agent) fails to deliver a security or its value in cash as per agreement when the security was traded after the other counterparty or counterparties have already delivered security or cash value as per the trade agreement. The term covers factors incidental to the settlement process which may suspend or prevent a trade from completing, even though the parties themselves are in agreement, are acting in good faith, and otherwise competent to perform.

The term applies only to risks inherent to the settlement method of a particular transaction. Broader risks of trading such as political risk or systemic risk may interrupt markets and prevent settlement, but these are not settlement risk per se.

One form of settlement risk is foreign exchange settlement risk or cross-currency settlement risk, sometimes called Herstatt risk after the German bank that made a famous example of the risk. On 26 June 1974, the bank's license was withdrawn by German regulators at the end of the banking day (4:30pm local time) because of a lack of income and capital to cover liabilities that were due. But some banks had undertaken foreign exchange transactions with Herstatt and had already paid Deutsche Mark to the bank during the day, believing they would receive US dollars later the same day in the US from Herstatt's US nostro. But after 3:30 pm in Germany and 10:30 am in New York, Herstatt stopped all dollar payments to counterparties, leaving the counterparties unable to collect their payment. The closing of Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1990 did not cause similar problems because the Bank of England had set up a special scheme which ensured that payments were completed. Barings in 1995 resulted in minor losses for counterparties in the foreign exchange market because of a specific complexity in the ECU clearing system.

Snake in the tunnel

The snake in the tunnel was the first attempt at European monetary cooperation in the 1970s, aiming at limiting fluctuations between different European currencies. It was an attempt at creating a single currency band for the European Economic Community (EEC), essentially pegging all the EEC currencies to one another.

Pierre Werner presented a report on economic and monetary union to the EEC on 8 October 1970. The first of three recommended steps involved the coordination of economic policies and a reduction in fluctuations between European currencies.With the failure of the Bretton Woods system with the Nixon shock in 1971, the Smithsonian agreement set bands of ±2.25% for currencies to move relative to their central rate against the US dollar. This provided a tunnel within which European currencies could trade. However, it implied much larger bands in which they could move against each other: for example if currency A started at the bottom of its band it could appreciate by 4.5% against the dollar, while if currency B started at the top of its band it could depreciate by 4.5% against the dollar.If both happened simultaneously, then currency A would appreciate by 9% against currency B. This was seen as excessive, and the Basel agreement in 1972 between the six existing EEC members and three about to join established a snake in the tunnel with bilateral margins between their currencies limited to 2.25%, implying a maximum change between any two currencies of 4.5%, and with all the currencies tending to move together against the dollar. This agreement also led to the formal end of the Sterling Area.

The tunnel collapsed in 1973 when the US dollar floated freely. The snake proved unsustainable, with several currencies leaving and in some cases rejoining. By 1977, it had become a Deutsche Mark zone with just the Belgian and Luxembourg franc, the Dutch guilder and the Danish krone tracking it. The Werner plan was abandoned.The European Monetary System followed the "snake" as a system for monetary coordination in the EEC.


The term Wirtschaftswunder (German: [ˈvɪʁtʃaftsˌvʊndɐ] (listen), "economic miracle"), also known as the Miracle on the Rhine, describes the rapid reconstruction and development of the economies of West Germany and Austria after World War II (adopting an ordoliberalism-based social market economy). The expression referring to this phenomenon was first used by The Times in 1950.Beginning with the replacement of the Reichsmark with the Deutsche Mark in 1948 as legal tender (the Schilling was similarly re-established in Austria), a lasting period of low inflation and rapid industrial growth was overseen by the government led by West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and his Minister of Economics, Ludwig Erhard, who went down in history as the "father of the German economic miracle." In Austria, efficient labor practices led to a similar period of economic growth.

The era of economic growth raised West Germany and Austria from total wartime devastation to developed nations in modern Europe. At the founding of the European Common Market in 1957 West Germany's economic growth stood in contrast to the struggling conditions at the time in the United Kingdom.

Yugoslav dinar

The dinar (Cyrillic script: динар) was the currency of the three Yugoslav states: the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (formerly the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes), the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia between 1918 and 2006. The dinar was subdivided into 100 para (Cyrillic script: пара). In the early 1990s, there was severe and prolonged hyperinflation due to a combination of economic mismanagement and criminality. Massive amounts of money were printed; coins became redundant; inflation rates reached the equivalent of 8.51×1029% per year. The highest denomination banknote was 500 billion dinars; it was worthless a fortnight after it was printed. This hyperinflation caused five revaluations between 1990 and 1994; in total there were eight distinct dinari. Six of the eight have been given distinguishing names and separate ISO 4217 codes.

Currencies named mark or similar
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