Operation Bernhard Bank of England 10 Pounds

Operation Bernhard Bank of England 10 Pounds

During World War II, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was the location of a secret plot called Operation Bernhard.  Its purpose was to undermine the British economy by issuing counterfeit Bank of England 5, 10 and 20 and 50 pound notes.  The plan was directed by and named after SS Major Bernhard Kruger.

Major Kruger recruited 142 counterfeiters from among the inmates.  They were involved in engraving the complex printing plates, developing the appropriate rag-based paper with the correct watermark, and breaking the codes to generate valid serial numbers.   German agents abroad were putting these fake notes into circulation and by the end of the war, the printing press in Sachsenhausen had produced almost 9 million banknotes with a value of £134,610,810.

For a more complete story of Operation Bernhard, please refer to http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/operationbernhard.html,

and to the award winning 2007 movie, The Counterfeiters, (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0813547/)

Image courtesy of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Jack J. Silverstein (http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_ph.php?ModuleId=10005538&MediaId=6561)

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