The introduction of the German mark in the year 1948 opened a completely new chapter in German currency history. For the first time the backing of legal tender and banknotes respectively by gold, foreign currency or commodities was abolished. The year of 1948 stands for the ultimate end of gold- and exchange standard in Germany. Indeed Germany was divided into two parts at that time. While Eastern Germany continued with a state-controlled economy, the western government declared the transition to a free market economy – a decision which proofed to become a full success.