4 pfennig coin - 4-Pfennig-Münze

Brüning thaler / Poor Heinrich

The 4 pfennig coin is a four pfennig copper coin from the Weimar Republic . Colloquially it was called Poor Heinrich or Brüning-Taler . [1]


Heinrich Brüning , Chancellor of the Reich from 1930 to 1932, tried to cope with the steadily deteriorating economic situation as a result of the reparations payments imposed on the German Reich after the First World War and the crisis after the stock market crash of 1929 through economical housekeeping and lowering wages, salaries and wages To improve prices. With that he was in agreement with most economists of his time. However, the severe spending cuts and the lack of consumer demand led to a drastic increase in the number of unemployed and further burdened the economy. [2]

One of the attempts to induce the German population to be more frugal was the introduction of the 4-pfennig coin, which was minted only in 1932. [1]

The 4 pfennig coin

The coin shows the value number 4 on the obverse, surrounded by the inscription "Deutsches Reich" and the currency indication "Reichspfennig" in capital letters, with the year "1932". The imperial eagle is depicted on the back, the edge is smooth. The coin has a diameter of 24 mm and a weight of five grams, it is made of an alloy of copper, tin and zinc. In German-speaking countries, the coin is listed in the catalogs and price lists of coin collectors with the hunter number 315, [3] internationally the number KM # 75 used in the Standard Catalog of World Coins established by Chester L. Krause and Clifford Mishler is common. [4]In 1932 alone, around 50 million pieces were minted in six mints : [4]

Mint mark Mint number
A Berlin 27.101 million
D Munich 7.055 million
E Muldenhütten 3.729 million
F Stuttgart 5.022 million
G Karlsruhe 3.050 million
J Hamburg 4.094 million

The 4-pfennig denomination was relatively common in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries and was minted in several German states until 1872, including Prussia, Hesse and Saxony. [5] At that time it was because of the division of the penny at 12 pence a higher practical significance than 1,932 in the decimal system.

Public effect

According to the law, 2 Reichsmarks had to be paid out in 4-pfennig pieces for every wage payment . Brüning thus hoped for a new price awareness and a reduction in consumer prices. Even before the coins were issued, the political opposition associated the unusual face value with lower wages and a loss of wealth ( four pfennigs are four, two fours are one groschen, ten groschen are one mark ). [6] Overall, the coin was rejected by the population and mocked as poor Heinrich and Brüning-Taler . It was suspended with effect from October 1, 1933. [1] [7]


Since the 4-pfennig coin was only slightly larger than the 1-reichsmark coin and the imperial eagle looked similar, an attempt was made to issue it as a 1-reichsmark coin by silvering the 4-pfennig coin. [8th]

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Matthias Kordes: The history of the coins in Westphalia from 1855–2005. In: Sparkasse Vest Recklinghausen (Hrsg.): 150 years Sparkasse Vest Recklinghausen. Good for the region. Sparkasse Vest Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen
  2. Dieter Petzina: Main Problems of German Economic Policy 1932/33. In: Quarterly Books for Contemporary History . 1967, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp. 18–55 ( PDF ).
  3. ^ Kurt Jaeger, Helmut Kahnt: The German coins since 1871: evaluations with current market prices. 22nd edition. Battenberg Gietl Verlag, Regenstauf 2011.
  4. a b George S. Cuhaj (Ed.): 2013 Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901–2000. 40th edition. Krause Publications, Iola, WI 2012.
  5. ^ Dieter Faßbender: Large German coin catalog. From 1800 until today. 28th edition. Battenberg Verlag, Regenstauf 2013.
  6. without author: 4-pfennig pieces In: Supplement to the Socialist Workers' Newspaper 1931, Volume 1, Number 31 (December 8, 1931)
  7. ^ Ordinance on the suspension of the four Reichspfenning pieces made of copper bronze. From July 25, 1933, RGBl. I 1933, p. 538
  8. ^ Issue of new imperial copper coins of 4 Reichspfennig. In: Die Fahrt , published by: Berliner Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft , 4th year, No. 7 (April 1, 1932), p. 49