Palestine Mandate: Templars Bank 25 Pound cheque, 1938-39
Item code: 0070001

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Unsual countersigned Palestine Templars Bank cheque, 1938-39: a post-dated bankdraft written in Palestine but belonging to the German optics firm of Zeiss Ikon written on 29 June 1938, for payment to P. Pr. Kunzler & Co. on 15 January 1939 for a contract (from the date the cheque was written), and approved by Zeiss Ikon on 28 Dec. 1938 (in Dresden) and guaranteed by them in a typewritten attachment the same day, along with a Reichsbank-Dresden serial number counterstamp, deposited by J. Raises of Ramat Gan in Palestine for the sum of 25 Palestine Pounds.

The cheque was deposited with the Bank of the Temple Society (the Templars Bank) with the local Barclays Bank handling the processing of the money in Palestine (17 Jan. 1939) - accepted for payment by them in February that year and finally settled completely on 30 March. Franked with two Palestine Mandate tax stamps with the original date of the check handwritten over them (i.e. the check originated in Palestine).

The Bank of the Temple Society was founded in Jaffa, Palestine in 1925 as a credit institution associated with the German Temple Society (Tempelgesellschaft) and their colonies in Palestine; the Templers are a Christian sect who see in Jesus an example to follow but not the son of G-d. The bank had branches in Haifa and Jerusalem and was at that time one of the leading credit institutions in Palestine.

What makes this check interesting is its timeline as related to events in the Templer community in Palestine in 1938-1939: being of German roots the Templer colonies identified themselves with the Nazi regime of the Third Reich, with national-socialist oriented youth movements and male enlistment in the German Army. The once friendly Jewish community in Palestine (the "Yishuv") turned away from these colonies during the 1930's and in 1939 the British Mandatory authorites interned many of the Templers, deporting some of them to Australia and turning many of their Palestine colonies into internment camps. The cheque does not give any suggestion that either the bearer J. Raises or the firm Kunzler is Jewish (i.e. that one of them is being banished, having funds frozen or disposessed, etc.), and no text is in Hebrew, so it seems this payment may have been a regular day-to-day example of banking within the system of the immediate pre-war Templer German-British network. Interesting and scarce.

מילות מפתח: שטרות שטר המחאות המחאה מנדטוריים מנדט פלשתינה