Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller
Item #46738 A Counterfeit Fifty Pound Banknote from Operation Bernhard - Sachsenhausen. n/a.

A Counterfeit Fifty Pound Banknote from Operation Bernhard - Sachsenhausen

Sachsenhausen concentration camp: NP, ND (ca 1942). Original document. Banknote. A 'genuine' counterfeit £50 British banknote produced by inmates of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp during the Operation Berhard.

The 50 pound note was the largest denomination produced by the mostly Jewish forgers.

The average wage for a school teacher in Britain during the war years was 300 pounds. So a 50 pound note would be a rare item that usually would only have been handled by the upper classes.

In 1942, under the codename Operation Bernhard, the Germans decided to begin counterfeiting British banknotes to artificially cause inflation in the British economy and, precipitate the economic collapse of the state, while simultaneously funding some of their own projects. The notes were printed behind the gates of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp by slave laborers.

Friederich Walter Bernhard Krueger was placed in charge of the Nazis' attempt to counterfeit British banknotes. He assembled a team of about 140 men (although some accounts mention as many as 300.) These inmates were told they would receive better treatment (radio, newspapers, warm barracks, etc) if they participated in the operation. All they had to do was counterfeit 400,000 British banknotes a month.

By 1945, conservative estimates figure 70,000,000 worth of notes were printed by the inmates - a cache worth upwards of £100,000,000. In order to complete this herculean task, the team of counterfeiters studied vast quantities of authentic British bankotes.

Our counterfeit banknote is in very good condition with the word "Counterfeit" stamped in red. Fine. Item #46738

The story of Operation Bernhard was made into a movie in 2007: The Counterfeiters, or Die Falscher and was written and directed by Stefan Rumowitzky.

Price: $1,500.00

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