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Funny Money

Exhibit exposes bogus bills from Nazi Germany.


Talk about the biggest counterfeit-cash scam ever: One of Cleveland's most horrific exhibits on display today, Questionable Issue: Currency of the Holocaust, is another grim reminder of how Adolf Hitler and his Nazi lap dogs duped millions of Jews imprisoned in World War II concentration camps. The collection of more than 70 replicas of phony paper money — or "scrip" — is on loan from the Holocaust Museum in Houston. Researchers assembled it after survivors recounted tales of shady currency exchanges in which they traded their life savings for Nazi-issued money to spend on necessities. To the Jews' horror, there were no stores at Auschwitz or 10 other camps and ghettos. "The currencies of the Nazi-imposed camps and ghettos of World War II speak of tragedy, depravity, horror, hope, and salvation," says Steve Feller, a Holocaust researcher in Iowa. "These bits of paper speak to us of a broad tragedy on a personal and understandable manner." Questionable Issue: Currency of the Holocaust is on display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays until December 27 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, 1455 East Sixth Street. Admission is free. Call 216-579-3188 or visit
Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 19. Continues through Dec. 27, 2007

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