Nazi Germany’s counterfeiting efforts are the subject of a new book


Numismatic audiences will be introduced to a new book on Operation Bernhard, a counterfeiting operation carried out by Nazi Germany during World War II, August 18 at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Illinois.

Each book will include, in a polyester sleeve, a replica of an example counterfeit note, which can be replaced by an authentic counterfeit by an interested collector.

The book Forging Secrets: Faces and Facts Inside the Bernhard Nazi Operation Plan covers Operation Bernhard, an effort by Nazi Germany to disrupt the British economy by counterfeiting notes issued by the Bank of England. Prisoners at Sachsenhausen concentration camp were forced to produce banknotes with a combined face value equivalent to all reserves held by the Bank of England. The notes ended up helping the Nazis fund their war effort.

Forge secrets was co-authored by a number of scholars and historians, including “Joseph Boling and C. Frederick Schwan; Robert Jan van Pelt, Auschwitz historian and museum curator; Debbie Walter, daughter of Operation Bernhard survivor Hans Walter; Charlotte Krüger, granddaughter of Bernhard Krüger, who led Operation Bernhard; and Astrid Ley and Agnes Ohm, expert historians at the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum near Berlin,” according to the editors, “the Spungen Family Foundation in association with Coin and Currency Institute.”

It is 252 pages, measures 11.25 inches by 11.25 inches, and features over 500 illustrations. A window cut out of the book cover shows part of a museum-quality polyester sleeve housing a replica Bernhard banknote with preservation information for genuine Bernhard banknotes printed on one side.

The book is priced at $199 and will be available to the public at a special event at the Hyatt Regency Chicago O’Hare on August 18; book launch events will also take place in Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere in the United States. A thousand books, each numbered, will be produced.

The Coin & Currency Institute offers the books, and they are also “available at bookstores, coin and paper money dealers, at trade shows, and from booksellers on the Internet.”

More than 200 books will be made available to students with an 85% discount.

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