A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Autobiography of Carl Kaas

A Member of the Dutch Underground in World War II

Chapter 92: Money Matters

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After the war was over, everything was in disarray, not least being the currency. We suspected Hitler had printed much more money than could be accounted for. Everyone who was active and wanted to work could make plenty of it, and many did.

In the last two years coupons were worth much more than money. People who did not smoke, for instance, sold their rations. Others who never smoked before, started now because tobacco was hard to come by. Still others started to grow their own tobacco and made big profit selling it on the black market.

Plants and factories were all working at full capacity for the war effort mostly, and all got paid in cash. To get the country back on solid footing, the government printed new paper currency. Now you could trade your old in for new but ... if you had more than a certain amount, for instance, if you were more than five thousand richer than before the war, you better burn it, because they figured you made that in the black market, and they would check you out good.

People who bought property, or other valuables did have a tough time to explain how they came to collect those worldly goods. I did not have any problem because the money I made in the black market was very little. Our aim was to keep the food out of the enemies' hands and feed our own people. After the exchange time expired, I got some money from people who did not dare to try to exchange it for new. I kept it as a souvenir.

Related resources:

Netherlands in World War II Liberation. "World War II has left many lasting effects on Dutch society. On May 4, the Dutch commemorate those who died during the war. Among the living, there are many who still have emotional problems due to the war, both in the first generation and the second. In the year 2000, the government was still granting 24,000 people an annual compensatory payment."

Second World War - Restitution. "During the Second World War, the property of many Dutch Jews and other Jewish people in the Netherlands was confiscated. In 1990s there was a resurgence of worldwide interest in the issue of Nazi looting and the restitution of financial and other assets. The Dutch government eventually made €181.5 million available to compensate the victims and their families."

History of Netherlands - World War II and After. "In May, 1940, the Netherlands was overrun by German armies, and the center of Rotterdam was destroyed by bombing ...

In 1945, after the war in Europe, the government returned and the laborious process of rebuilding was begun. The Netherlands received more than $100,000,000 in aid under the European Recovery Program. The Netherlands was a charter member of the United Nations. It joined with Belgium and Luxembourg to form Benelux, a customs union that went into effect in 1948. Also, it became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949, and in 1958 became a charter member of what is now the European Union ...

The Netherlands signed the treaty that established the European Union and its currency, the euro, in 1992. The euro replaced the Dutch currency in 2002."

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