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The true story that inspired the 2008 Oscar-winning film, The Counterfeiters - a WWII plot to counterfeit millions of British currency.

About the Author

Lawrence Malkin has been the European correspondent of Time magazine and New York correspondent for the International Herald Tribune. He has collaborated on memoirs by Paul Volcker, Anatoly Dobrynin, Markus Wolf and Stuart Eizenstat. His work has also appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Fortune, Connoisseur and The Times Literary Supplement.


Former Time correspondent Malkin tells a remarkable, little-known story from WWII: the Nazis' use of concentration camp prisoners to produce counterfeit British (and later American) currency and dump it to sabotage the Allied economies. Some readers might find Malkin's setup a bit slow, but the main events, deeply researched and tautly narrated, form a tale of opportunism made for a movie. The Nazis realized the labor could be drawn from concentration camps, and the prisoners realized that volunteering for the effort could save their lives. At the height of the operation, headed by SS officer Bernhard Krueger, the Jewish prisoners produced 650,000 notes a month. The counterfeiting helped finance some Nazi spy efforts, as well as other parts of the Reich's war machine, but it failed to bring down the Allies. As gripping as the tale of Operation Bernhard is, the story of how the Jewish counterfeit brigade most of them prisoners at Sachsenhausen survived the waning days of the war is even more so. 8 pages of b&w photos, 2 maps. (Oct. 12) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

'Larry Malkin has written so thrilling, so fascinating, so precise a sstory of the Nazi counterfeiting of British pound notes that he might just find himself thrown into jail' - David Kahn, author of The Codebreakers 'The compelling story of the Third Reich's attempt to wreck the British economy...thorough research and authoritative voice enable this fascinating chapter of history to hold interest. Gripping proof that indeed all is fair in love and war' - Kirkus Reviews

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