German Federal Republik, 5 Mark 1971


German Federal Republik, 5 Mark 1971 (obverse) German Federal Republik, 5 Mark 1971 (reverse)

The currency unit of the Democratic Republic of Germany was the mark – just as in the Federal Republic of Germany. The design of the DDR mark-coins was a hammer and a sickle within a circlet of corn on the obverse, as suited a "republic of workers and peasants." The reverse of the 5 mark-piece bore the Brandenburg Gate, the landmark of Berlin. At the beginning of the 1960’s the Brandenburg Gate had become a symbol for the separation of the worlds of East and West, when a wall had been built between East and West Berlin in 1962: too many refugees had tried to cross the border from East Berlin to the West. And the Brandenburg Gate stood right in the middle of the wall.


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