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STADT BIELEFELD 25 MARK 1921

City of Bielefeld (North Rhine Westphalia) Linen 25 Mark Note / Marking the 700 Year Jubilee of the City of Bielefeld and Depicting the Return of the the Berlin Quadriga

In small black type around border:

Left: HOLSTE'S BIELEFELDER - STARKE (Holste's of Bielefeld) - refers to the material, starch and cloth

Right: BIELEFELDER - LEINEN (Bielefeld Linen)

Bottom: Druck: E. GUNDLACH A.G. BIELEFELD. - GESETZLICH - GESCHUTZT D.G.M. (Pressed: E Gundlach A.G Bielfeld Legal D.G.M Gesetzlich) - the printer and copyright notice

In bold red type around border from top left: DIE STADTSPARKASSE BIELEFELD / ZAHLE GEGEN DIESE PLATZANWEISUNG AUS UNSEREM GUTHABEN AN UBERBRINGER (The Stadtsparkasse (savings bank) Bielefeld is to pay against this note from our assets to the bearer)

Small type in black forming triangles from upper left:

Red Horse: 30 PREUSS (ii) KRIEGER / FUHRTEN DIE SIEGESGOTTIN NACH BERLIN ZURUCK (30 Prussian soldiers/warriors led the Victory Goddess back to Berlin)

Red Man: VIVAT ES LEBE [Frau(?)] / CHRISTINE SCHILDERMANN DIENSTMADCHEN IN BIELEFELD (Vivat, long live Ms Christine Schildermann, maid (home help) in Bielefeld)

Blue Horse: 6 WAGON PASSIERTEN MIT FRANZ FUHRLEUTEN AM 30 MAI 1814 DEN GEHRENBERG (6 cars (wagons) passed, with French coachmen, on 30 May 1814 the Gehrenberg)

Blue Man: WAS TYRANNEI GERAUBT DAS SCHENKTEST DU UNS WIEDER! REMPEL PROREKTOR (What tyranny stole, you gave us back! Rempel Prorektor) - name and 'prorektor' is a church title - Vice Rector, leader in the church.

Large text bordering inner color fields: ZUR 700 JAHRIGEN 1221-1921 JUBILAUMSFEIER DER STADT BIELEFELD AM 15 JULI 1921 (To the 700 year 1221-1921 jubilee celebration of the city of Bielefeld on 15 July 1921)

Around 25 Mark Left: BIELEFELDER LEINEWAND / IM RAVENSBERGER LAND (Bielefeld cloth, in Ravensberg Region)

Around 25 Mark Right: BEWERTE MIT HURRA / HOCH LEB GERMANIA (Assess with hoorah / Long (high) live Germania)

On the left tower: DEUTSCHE TREUE DENK AN DEN 20 MAI 1814 IN BIELEFELD (German loyalty - think of the 20 May 1814 in Bielefeld)

On the right tower: HOFFNUNGSVOLLES ZUKUNFTSGLUCK SEI DEUTSCHLANDS LOS (Hopeful future luck be Germany's lot)

Center Graphic: Statue of winged female figure holding staff in a wagon with the date 1814 and 'VON PARIS - NACH BERLIN' (from Paris to Berlin), child with raised arms below. Two towers on either side with figures reaching out of the widows holding cloth and two German flags on outside of towers. In front of towers are two soldiers. Despondent French soldier on the left, strong German soldier on the right. Bricks are removed from towers to make room for the wagon.

This side of the note combines two major themes: The 700 year jubilee of the city of Bielefeld in 1921 and the return of the Berlin Quadriga. Pictured below, and depicted in a cart on the bill above, The Berlin Quadriga was located on the top of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. It was taken by Napoleon in 1806 then returned to Berlin by Field Marshal Gebhard von Blücher after the defeat and abdication of Napoleon I in 1814. It was designed by Johann Gottfried Schadow in 1793 as the Quadriga of Victory, as a symbol of peace represented by the olive wreath carried by Victory. The olive wreath was replaced by an Iron Cross upon its return.

As the story goes, the statue was too wide to fit through the towers so bricks were removed so that the cart carrying the statue could pass. The towers pictured on the bill have bricks remove to depict this.

In large black type around outter edge: ERSTEN VIER 1922 • EINGELOST WERDEN DIE SCHECKs BEI ALLEN KASSEN IN BIELEFELD UND IM KREISE HALLE GULTIG BIS ZUM (First Day of Month 4 (April 1) 1922 This check can be cashed in Bielefeld)

Small black text in white zigzag border: MEINE HERREN DIE KAPELLE HAT KEINE AKUSTIK MEHR ("Gentlemen, the chapel does not have acoustics any more") ICH WERDE SIE UBERZEUGEN: GUCKER! ("I will convince you: Gücker!") WIE HEISST DER ERSTE ARTIKEL? / BANK! ("What is the first article? Bänk!") - teacher asking students DAS ZWEITE GEBOT?? KEINE ANTWORT (The second commandment? No answer.) SEHEN SIE MEINE HERREN DIE KAPELLE HAT KEINE AKUSTIK MEHR ("You see, gentlemen, the chapel does not have acoustics any more") FRAULEIN TRAGEN SIE GRUN / GRUN HEBT IHNEN ("Madam, wear green / Green lifts up") - Possibly fashion advice WIR IN SCHILDESCHE SIND KLUGE BAUERN (We in Schildesche (part/suburb of Bielefeld) are good farmers) ABER / DIE SCHIRRDEICHSEL AUF / DEM DACH IST NICHT UNSER FACH (But the Schirrdeichsel (?) on the roof is not our profession) DER NEUBAU WURDE BEWILLIGT (The new building was granted)

Blue diamond shaped panels:

Top left: Horse and rider, figure below saying: RECKEMBER! (possibly a name)

Top right: Horse and rider, figure below saying: REDE HERR DEIN KNECHT HORET ("Talk Lord - your servant listens")

Bottom left: DEM ERSTEN DER MORGEN DEIN HAUS BETRITT GIEB (sic) DEIN KALB ("Give your calf to the first who enters your house tomorrow")

Bottom right: HERR DEIN WILLE GESCHEHE ("Lord, your will should happen")

Red Panels starting far right: 25 M / seated figures GULKER HUNEKE BANK (Three names, to of which have occurred before on the bill) / Figure: PASTOR NAMEYER / 25 M / man with dog, crutch and basket / Trolly: BIELEFELDER STRASSENBAHN (Bielefeld Streetcar)

Center black field with white text: M 25 MARK STADTSPARKASSE BIELEFELD (City Bank of Bielefeld)

Bielefeld is a city of roughly 325,000 people in North Rhine-Westphalia, on both the western and eastern slopes of the Teutoburg Forest. Bielefeld is an urban district meaning it is one of the 116 cities that represent a district in their own right.

After its founding in 1214 by Count Hermann IV, the town grew into a fortified city known for producing fine linen. Administration of the city changed hands many times through the years until the Kingdom of Prussia gained possession of it after the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century. The railroad reached Bielefeld in the mid 19th century, with it came industrialization in the form of mills and metal works and a steady rise in population.

By World War I, Bielefeld had entered the war as a part of the German Empire. Bielefeld was an important industrial base helping to supply the German war effort. In the end, the city was not spared the attrition and economic turmoil that plagued Germany during and after the war.


After the war Bielefeld became one of the more prolific producers of notgeld. Often referred to as the 'City of Linen', Bielefeld issued an extensive and popular series of high denomination notes printed on silk, linen, and velvet during post war and hyperinflation. They also minted a variety of coins, some with strong political themes.