Some recent additions to my collection, below are two examples of the camp scrip that was in circulation at KZ Westerbork.
The camp was erected initially by the Dutch authorities during 1938, as a measure to deal with the large number of Jews seeking refuge in Holland following Kristallnacht. Later, during May 1940, following the swift advance of the Wehrmacht, the site was designated as a convenient location for the occupiers to establish a concentration camp. Barbed wire was added to the fences as the only significant initial alteration. Primarily used as a Durchgangslager, or transit camp, for Dutch Jews, the site held prisoners who would later be sent to their deaths, or to be exploited as slave labourers at one of the forced labour facilities within the Reich.
In the early part of the camp's existence, the Germans allowed a certain level of Jewish influence to run the camp, as indeed they did at other locations such as Theresienstadt, but during the summer of 1942, the camp fell under SS control. More than 100,000 Jews passed through Westerbork on the way to their deaths in the facilities located in "the East". Indeed, the Nazis themselves refered to Westerbork as "Jerusalem", due to the fact that all roads led through the camp.
Westerbork had many similarities to the ghettos of the period, with its own theatre (created by Kommandant Albert Konrad Gemmeker), orchestra, large hospital, schools and even permission to celebrate Jewish holidays, but the end result for many was indeed execution.
Of note is the use of the word Gutschein, meaning credit coupon, printed on the notes. This was done to appease Adolf Hitler, as he forbid Jews to handle money, so refering to the scrip as coupons made it easier for the SS staff to attempt to encourage a better level of work from the Westerbork prisoners, who were not known for their productivity. Earlier receipts were circulated in the camp before these 1944 issued scrip were introduced. The notes were designed by Werner Lowenhardt, a was a graphic designer prior to the war. Lowenhardt's design was initially intended for use as the logo for the camp's industrial department, but was chose to adorn the 10, 20, 50 and 100 cent denominations. The large chimney that is present on the notes was intended to give the illusion of productivity, when in actuality, it was the camp's large laundry chimney. The street shown in the artwork was refered to by the prisoners as the "Boulevard of Misery", as this was the way that they went during the deportations. Kommandant Gemmeker's own motto "Jewish labour is essential for Germany's victory" was expressed in the large, toothed wheel that is centralised on the obverse of the notes. Survivors who used these premium coupons remembered that the wheel on the notes was refered to as "Life's Last Turn". As with other camp scrip, it was used by the prisoners in places such as the canteen. Some of the notes display traces of the manufacturer's watermark, "Vuga".