Hitler’s plot to produce counterfeit money during World War II

Hitler's plot to produce counterfeit money during World War II 0

In 1967, organ experts opened an old organ at the church of San Valentino in Merano (Italy) to find cracks in order to repair it.

Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany where the Bernhard’s large-scale counterfeiting campaign took place

Banks later checked the money and discovered it was fake money – a wartime product that the Nazis wanted to use to sabotage the British economy.

Dubbed “Operation Bernhard,” the Nazis printed millions of counterfeit British banknotes, based on money obtained through intelligence operations.

Conspiracy to make money

“Operation Bernhard” is taken from the name of Bernhard Kruger – SS major, who represented the Army’s Security Office (RSHA).

According to Himler’s thinking, a rain of counterfeit money on the heads of the British people would stir up their miserable lives because of the war, they would soon put this counterfeit money into circulation, increasing inflation and causing

However, in 1942, the Nazis found a more practical plan for their malicious counterfeit money campaign.

The personnel included in `Operation Bernhard` came from the slave labor force who were Jewish prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps.

The Nazis deported Sonnenfeld, his family and approximately 424,000 Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp as part of the genocide plan.

Sonnenfeld and other prisoners were lucky to pass an inspection, escaping death by printing out birthday cards under the watchful eye of SS officers.

Mr. Sonnenfeld, Burger and others were transferred to a secret location at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp (located near Berlin) to start printing counterfeit money.

For the first time, the bills were made amateurishly, so the merchants immediately knew the money was fake.

Hitler's plot to produce counterfeit money during World War II

Toplitz Lake (Austria) where SS Colonel Friedrich Schwend’s fake money was found buried at the bottom of the lake

Throwing fake money causes confusion in Europe

According to the US Treasury Department, `Operation Bernhard` personnel believed that it was too difficult to copy the papers, inks and engravings used to create US banknotes at the time.

US intelligence assessed Schwend as `a scammer with many schemes and tricks` who secretly worked through a chain of brokers.

US Army intelligence files also show that Schwend ran the operation like a mafia union.

Both “Operation Bernhard” and Schwend’s counterfeit vault were decommissioned after the end of the Great War, but concerns remained that Bernhard’s counterfeit vault could in fact be used in efforts against the forest government.

Immediately after the war, a spy who had used Bernhard’s counterfeit money also secretly reported Schwend to the OSS.

Colonel Friedrich Schwend fled to Merano after the war, where two decades later the organ was accidentally opened.

Hitler's plot to produce counterfeit money during World War II

SS Major Alfred Naujocks is the head of the counterfeit money operation, codenamed “Andreas”

Fight against counterfeit money remnants

Like many Nazi war criminals, Schwend defected to Latin America after the war.

Around the end of 1963, the CIA and the secret service were still worried that the counterfeit money campaign was in danger of returning.

But wary, the British did not shake hands with Schwend.

According to Phan Binh – Van Chuong

Law of Vietnam

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