East German Mark


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East German Mark

The currency of the former East Germany. It was in use between 1948 and 1990, when it was theoretically pegged to the (West German) deutschemark at par, but it was largely inconvertible. After German reunification in 1990, the deutschmark replaced the East German mark.
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When reunification brought an end to the former East German Mark (Ost-Mark), the Ost-Mark was generally convertible to the West German DM at an even exchange rate, although its true economic value may have been lower.
The large de facto revaluation of the East German mark together with the sudden full exposure to foreign and western German competition implied that large parts of the eastern German capital stock became economically unviable literally overnight.
The exchange rate of one East German mark to one West German mark, widely described as a controversial act of West German generosity, was a propaganda coup.
Because the East needed hard currency (dollars, pounds, West German Marks) so badly, every visitor had to exchange at least fifty West German Marks for an equal number of East German Marks to enter East Berlin.
Most recently, tourists were being allowed to enter, during the afternoon, through Checkpoint Charlie, if they had a precise amount of money to change for East German marks, a valid passport, and a reason.
Aa On countless occasions I was approached with whispers in my ears to swap dollars for East German marks on the black market.
First, we earned the normal compensation, in East German marks, due labourers in our position.