Paper Money

Nazi Germany counterfeiting efforts topic of new book

A new book on Operation Bernhard will be made available to the public on Aug. 18 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago O’Hare.

Image courtesy of the Spungen Family Foundation.

The coin collecting public will be introduced to a new book on Operation Bernhard, a counterfeiting operation conducted by Nazi Germany during World War II, on Aug. 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 a counterfeit note example, which can be replaced with a genuine counterfeit by an interested collector.

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

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

It is 252 pages long, measures 11.25 inches by 11.25 inches, and features more than 500 illustrations. A die-cut window in the book’s cover shows part of a museum-quality polyester sleeve housing a replica of a Bernhard note that has information on conserving genuine Bernhard notes printed on one side.

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

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

Some 200+ books will be made available to students at an 85% discount.

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