Banknote Index



Kahla History

Kahla is a small town with a population of approximately 7000 people in the district of Saale-Holzland in the state of Thuringia. It is situated on the river Saale and is 14km south of Jena which is the second largest city in Thuringia. Kahla was granted its city rights in 1283
Kahla is famous for porcelain and has been manufacturing porcelain since 1844. Two large factories were setup; the Koch factory and the Lehmannsche factory.
Kahla also famous for the Leuchtenburg; the impressive castle which dates back to the thirteenth century and is known as "The Light Castle"

Kahla town in Thuringia, Germany

Kahla History

Kahla became a critical site during WWII when an underground production facility for turbine-jet aircraft (Messerschmitt Me 262) was set up in an old sand mine near Kahla. The sand mine was previously used in the production of porcelain. The reason Kahla was chosen was because it was in Central Germany and further from enemy forces than other suitable locations.

Messerschmitt Me 262

Kahla City in Winter

Town, Map, Coat of Arms and Me262 images from

Kahla Coat of Arms

Kahla Stadt Notgeld

The Leuchtenburg (Light castle) features heavily on many of the notes produced by Kahla, highlighting its very dominant position in the cities history. However a number of other very interesting social and artistic topics made it on to these notes as well, below are the three sets that I find most interesting.

Economic themed banknotes

A set of 12 banknotes (4x25pf, 4x50pf, 4x75pf) depicting various economic themes from the early 1900's through to 1921. Showing the impact of the war and The Treaty of Versailles. These notes do not show the postwar hyperinflation as they were printed to early however they show that even at this early stage the printing of banknotes by Germany was outstripping countries at the time by a significant amount. These banknotes are wonderful windows into the economic troubles to come.

Die Aufblähung des Notenumlaufs
(The inflation of the note circulation)

Zur entwicklung der Reichs-Eisenbahnen
(For the development of the Reich Railways)

Banknotes with imagery by artist Olaf Gulbransson

6 notes for 75pf were produced with images by Olaf G. These banknotes depict the woes of Germany post WW1. The notes start off showing unity and proceed through to the end showing a fat man (representing the Republic of France) shooting Mercury (Depicting Germany) while Germany is trying to organise WW1 reparations.
The details of the banknotes are (All 6 banknotes have the same back showing a trees leaves made from money falling):

  1. A large group of people drinking beer together with the text "Starkbier Macht Einigkeit" (Strong Beer, unity and power).
  2. The same group of poeple from the first banknote engaged in a fight with the text "Eingkeit Macht Stark" (Unity is Stregth).
  3. Man sweeping up garbage that includes a bible and papers with the following text:
    1. Seid einig! einig! einig! (Be united! united! united!)
    2. Liebe deinen Nächsten wie dich selbst (Love your neighbor as thyself - Mark 12:31)
    3. Tue recht und scheue niemand (Do right and fear no one)
    4. Du sollst nicht ehebrechen (Thou shalt not commit adultery)
  4. A skeletal figure painting a sign with the text "Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin". This text from the biblical tale Belshazzar King of Babylon foretelling destruction of the Kingdom.
  5. A fat armoured figure representing France shooting arrows at Der Deutsche Merkur (The Germany Mercury). This is referring to the lack of mercy by the French in regards to the reparations.
  6. Mercry now writing orders from the French with his own blood using an arrow.

Kahla Leuchtenburg Wirtschaft Notgeld

Notes put out by Kahla Leuchtenburg Wirtschaft feature the Leuchtenburg and stories related to it, one very interesting set of notes advertises Walpurgisnacht with a witch riding a broomstick on one side and the Leuchtenburg on the other side. Walpurgisnacht is held on the 30th of April. In German folklore Walpurgisnacht is believed to be the night of the witches' meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains. It is celebrated in many countries each with their own folklore and tradition.

View All Kahla Banknotes on Banknote Index

Further reading A fantastic article about the Olaf Gulbransson banknotes
Walpurgis Night