Counterfeit 10 British pound banknote produced as part of "Operation Bernhard." Sachsenhausen concentration camp, World War II. October 17, 1935.
"Operation Bernhard" was carried out under the command of SS Major Bernhard Krueger with the approval of Heinrich Himmler, intended to undermine Britain's economy by flooding it with millions of counterfeit pounds. The banknotes were printed in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp by 142 people, many of them Jews, some of whom had knowledge and experience in printing. The crew received preferential treatment compared to other prisoners, which included: plentiful food, medical care and comfortable living quarters. The operation was classified as top secret, even guards surrounding the buildings were excluded. Later, with the approaching Allied forces to Sachsenhausen, the forging team was transferred to Mauthausen concentration camp, where production soon halted due to the nearing Allied forces. By the end of the war, the Nazis succeeded in counterfeiting nine million banknotes amounting to hundreds of millions of pounds. The operation had limited success, partly due to sabotage and deliberate delays by the Jewish prisoners in the printing house in the camp.
21.5X13 cm. Condition VF.