Blood Money

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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In the early days of the Nazi concentration camp system Lagergeld (or camp money) was paid to certain types of prisoners in Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau. The Geneva Convention also decreed that prisoners of war be recompensed for forced labor in the form of scrip that could be redeemed for certain items. Ersatz currency was also issued in the Warsaw, Lodz and Theresienstadt Ghettos for work performed there.

Holocaust deniers take refuge in citing Lagergeld as evidence of “humane treatment” of concentration camp prisoners. Even arguing that camps like Oranienburg (one of the earliest camps in Germany) were merely prisons rather than slave labor or death camps. They are ignorantly and immorally grasping at straws.

Scrip was issued in the Jewish ghettos but not as any perk for those illegally forced to live there. The Nazis attempted to make these gated enclaves function in a semi-normal way until they were scheduled for liquidation.

The paper currency and tokens either issued by the Nazis or produced by the ghetto authorities are a chilling reminder of how bureaucratically organized the Final Solution was. And how, to a certain extent, designers were used to perpetuate the crime.

(Andy Warhol in silver on the Nightly Heller here.)