The Only Survivor of Operation Bernhard Passes Away

24 May 2018  Thu

Hans Walter was the only survivor of the Nazi counterfeiting operation at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp called Operation Bernhard. He was 96 years old when he died on 25th April 2018 in Mansfield, Ohio. A traditional Jewish ceremony was held to carry out the final rituals.

Walter survived 5 concentration camps before he settled in the US in 1951. He was sent from Auschwitz to Sachsenhausen and was made the final inspector of a 142-member team of prisoners who were forced to produce fake £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes. Over £100 million worth of fake banknotes were produced through the Operation that was successful in destroying Britain’s economy.

SS Major Bernhard Kruger was the director of this operation. The team was responsible for producing the most perfect counterfeits. It was almost impossible to differentiate between original and fake notes. Rag paper, accurately engraved plates, perfect watermarks, and valid serial numbers were used to make these notes.

They can be easily identified based on their serial numbers. It also had a small defect. The text ‘Bank of England’ on the watermark has a triangle at the base of the first ‘N’ in England. A line comes out from the centre of the base of the triangle in the fake versions while it is off-centre on real ones.

Image Courtesy: Google Images