One of the most celebrated cases of community currency was that which occurred in the small town of Woergl in Austria in 1932-33. In the midst of the Great Depression, the mayor of that little town took the bold step of issuing into circulation a local currency, the impact of which was heard round the world. Many journalistic accounts have been written and circulated, but few definitive descriptions have been found, and even fewer critical analyses. But, because it is so celebrated, and because it was apparently so successful, this is a case well worth studying.
I have undertaken my own critical analysis and I think this would be a good place to start.
Here are three reports from the 1934 volume of Annals of Collective Economy
- The Woergl Experiment With Depreciating Money
by Alex. Von Muralt
- A French View of The Woergl Experiment: A New Economic Mecca
by M. Claude Bourdet
- The End Results of the Woergl Experiment
by Michael Unterguggenberger, Burgomaster of Woergl
The website of Hans Eisenkolb contains a wealth of monetary reform material with a particular emphasis on Silvio Gesell. It includes some interesting statistics on the decline in value of various national currencies, and Eisenkolb’s own proposals for an alternative medium of exchange based on the ideas of Gesell and modeled after the Woergl currency.
He has a large section on the Woergl currency, including an English translation of selected parts of Fritz Schwarz’s book on The Experiment in Woergl.
Geld Reform. This is a German language monetary reform website which has some English language material. It contains the entire text (in German) of the only book about the Woergl currency I know of: Fritz Schwarz’s book, Das Geldwunder von Woergl.