# During the First World War, there were no fewer than four currencies circulating in Belgium!

Reichsmark  - All rights reserved ©

Reichsmark - All rights reserved ©

First of all, the Belgian franc, of course, minted and circulated by the Belgian National Bank, the only institution authorised to manage the monetary policy up to that time; next came the Deutschmark, introduced within the interior channels by the German occupier starting in October 1914. In addition to these two official currencies, there were firstly the Belgian franc bills temporarily printed by the Société Générale de Belgique starting in 1915 and, secondly the "currencies of necessity" produced by several hundred communities, charitable organisations and companies, in order to overcome the monetary instability that reigned throughout the conflict. Each community or each association had its own currency, often bills but sometimes metal coins, there were only valid within the territory of the given community, or at food banks… Not issuing any currency at all could naturally have been a serious hindrance for the German occupier, but the circulation of these various currencies was, despite whatever difficulties, absolutely necessary to avoid Belgium's total ruin.

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