This a glorious example of this era of banknote as it is in fantastic condition.
It has the field stamps back and front for the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend or “Hitler Youth” as well as 25th SS Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Hunyadi.
It is from the same era and probably area as the 20 Mark bank note on the link at the bottom of this section..
This was an era of extreme turmoil and extremely violent battles as German finally surrendered to the Russians and other forces. That the note has survived in such good condition is nothing short of remarkable.
A wonderful addition to any portfolio and highly collectible due to the field stamps with spread winged eagle atop the swastika on both sides of the note.
Issued by: Reichskreditkassen (Reich Credit Offices)
Stamps: 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend or “Hitler Youth”
25th Waffen Grenadier Division
Value: 20 Mark – Serial number L7963860
Size: 155 x 80 mm
Oberse: Portrait of Der Baumeister or Master Builder by Albrecht Dürer
Reverse: The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
The German army utilized armored divisions as a part of its tactics and one such was the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend or “Hitler Youth”. It is said that many of the troops in this division were issued bonbons and sweets rather than the normal alcohol and tobacco rations. They were basically a division of children driving armored vehicles and fighting for their lives.
Most of the officers and commanders were drawn from battle hardened veterans of the 1st SS Panzer Division LSSAH. ( LSSAH – Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler ) or Hitlers personal body guard. The troops were drawn from the junior enlisted men of the Hitler Youth. It was a large armored division with almost 21,000 men in all.
The division was sent on various campaigns beginning from the 7 June 1944 in Caen during the Normandy Campaign. D-Day was 6 June the day before. Troop losses from this battle were horrendous and saw them losing almost 50% of their number.
Following this they were recalled for a refit back in Germany and then the unit was sent to fight against the US Army in the Battle of the Bulge. This was a major German offensive campaign launched on the Western Front in the Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. This turned out to be another dismal defeat with heavy losses incurred and the division was withdrawn and sent right across Europe to fight near Budapest against the Red Army.
As supplies slowly dwindled and the the division found themselves unable to continue they eventually withdrew to Austria where on 8 May 1945 they surrendered to the U.S. Army.