Years after the First World War in Middle Europe were anarchic. In the defeated Germany and the new countries like Austria and Hungary often the local authorities had to take care of state responsibilities. The weakened central power did not and could not guarantee public safety, organization of transport, and our main topic the currency issues. But what has the currency do with the Danube? Let's have a look at the below picture.
|Donauschleife = Schlögener Schlinge|
In Austria, the first Notgelds were issued on the summer of 1919. in Innsbruck, Tyrol. The Notgeld had been issued by authorities, which had no right for issuing currency in cases of emergency, like a siege, war, economic crisis and any other event causing disruption of the cash flow. They are mostly banknotes, but we have knowledge of coins and stamps as well. The material is mostly paper and metal, but it can be almost anything like leather and sulphur as well.
Well the three years in Austria between the summer of 1919 and October of 1921 brought the heavens for the banknote collectors. After Innsbruck came Kitzbühel, then Kufstein, Vorarlberg, Salzburg started to issue their own Notgeld. Then followed by the capital Vienna. But the most Notgeld was issued in Upper-Austria in the year 1920. 425 out of the province's villages had their own money and they were valid until 1921, when the economical and political situation has been settled.
Upper-Austria is situated along the Danube and many of these settlements had their own Notgeld with unified design. All of the settlements put their own most beautiful Danubian view on their banknote series. They all had a Gothic script with the title "Donautal Notgeld" which means Danube valley necessity money. Underneath this there was a Danubian image of a specific landscape and the name of the settlemet also with Gothic letters. On the sides there was a tendril ornament connecting the upper and lower part.
|Notgelds with different syles and integrated color.|
On the back side there was a general script with only changing the name of the settlement and its major. It had the following label in German:
Die Gemeinde ... haftet für die Verbindlichkeit der Einlösung. Einlösung nach erfolgter Kundmachung. Der Bürgermeister ... Nachahmung wird gesetzlich bestraft
I. e.: The community ... is liable for the obligation of cashing. Cashing after promulgation. Major ... Banknote counterfeiting is forbidden.
|Community St. Aegidi|
The Danube valley Notgelds were issued in many denominations and colours, moreover they lived to have many editions, like the one on the first image. There stands 3. Aufgabe - 3rd edition. Maybe only the collectors can tell how many settlements issued this kind of necessity money and how many variations did the Danubian Notgeld had.
There was a vast amount of these Notgelds circulating in the Upper-Austrian province. These can be bought up to now from collectors, antique shops all over in Middle Europe. Both online and offline.