Nazi forgeries detailed in new book

The non-profit Spungen Family Foundation has launched a new book offering never-before-seen accounts of Operation Bernhard, Germanys secret Second World War plan to forge British banknotes.

Titled Forging Secrets and released on Aug. 18 in Chicago, Ill., the 252-page book features reports from historians, descendants of Holocaust survivors and the granddaughter of the Nazi who ran the counterfeiting program.

As part of Operation Bernhard, Nazi concentration camp commandants forced Jewish prisoners to forge Bank of England notes. Initially intended to upend the British economy, the fake notes eventually financed Germanys war efforts. More than 140 prisoners produced enough fake currency to equal the face value of all Bank of England reserves – about $7 billion in todays money.

This is more than a book, said foundation trustee Danny Spungen, one of the books co-editors. This is an interactive experience in a book where students and collectors can search for and acquire an artifact, witnesses of the Holocaust.

With more than 500 images, including previously unpublished prisonerssketches, the hardcover, linen-wrapped book features a die-cut window opening to a museum-quality transparent polyester sleeve, which can hold an example of the counterfeits. Only 1,000 copies have been printed, and each one includes a replica Operation Bernhard note depicting the signatures of three survivors from Block 19 of the Sachsenhausen camp. 

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