This gets brought up about once a year. This time....by N-TV.
Around fifteen years ago....the change occurred with Germany flipping from the D-Mark to the Euro. Everyone was given a chance to exchange their money.
Well...as time has passed, there's been this little mystery going on.
Of the 262 billion D-Marks that existed in this previous era....the government says more or less that that 5.95 billion D-Marks (or three billion Euro) has yet to be exchanged. It sits out there.
Based on regulations....the government still has an exchange program that exists....and they have to accept D-Marks to convert.
Where is the money? Unknown.
Some of this money...in coins and small currency....likely sits in drawers and boxes of various non-Germans who came to visit and simply had the money left as they returned home. American GI's probably have over ten million D-Marks in this type of situation. Even in my little foreign coin collection today....I probably have at least twenty D-Marks in coins. Most Army guys who left West Germany in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.....left with similar collections.
The crime syndicates and mafia operations? They've likely been sitting there for two decades looking at bundles of a million D-Marks sitting around, and how you'd walk into the German instrument of conversion and explain how you had the million D-Marks in your pocket. It would be simple to go and explain four-thousand D-Marks....but less so if this were forty-thousand D-Marks. Then try to imagine any legit excuse with half-a-million D-Marks.
The bills still hold value but how would you exchange them without getting someone hyped up to investigate your story?
You could just walk up and report that you found this wooden box with a million D-Marks in a forest, and get through some investigation easily.
You could even go and talk up finding some safe in an old abandoned building with a million D-Marks in it.
But six billion D-Marks?