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Krueger's Men: The Secret Nazi Counterfeit Plot and the Prisoners of Block 19 Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.



Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (1 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400102928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400102921
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,177,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

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

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By Amazon Customer on 19 May 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great read. To glimpse in to the world these people endured. Fantastic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating Historical Account 26 Oct. 2006
By Terri Rowan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It was one of Nazi Germany's top-secret operations. It was the most humiliating episode in the Bank of England's history. It saved dozens of Jewish artisans from the chimneys.

Operation Bernhard was the massive counterfeiting plot designed to destroy England's economy--and the financial wellbeing of any other nation that dared to defy the Third Reich. With the failure of its predecessor, Operation Andreas, Operation Bernhard sought talent from an unlikely source. SS Officer Bernhard Krueger selected his crew of counterfeiters from concentration camps. Some of the men were only hours away from death when they were recruited for the scheme. Printers, lithographers, artists, and others with related skills were brought to Block 19 at Sachsenhausen.

While he was nothing like Oscar Schindler, Krueger saw the sense of treating his men like human beings. Decent food and clothing meant so little to those used to it, but it meant far more to those who had been denied the most basic of necessities. Such treatment will buy respect, if not some form of loyalty.

Author Lawrence Malkin's in-depth research delves into a lesser-known facet of WWII and Nazi Germany. The first several chapters provide information of the events leading to the formation of Operation Bernhard. These chapters are somewhat slow, but they are essential to understand the remaining narrative, which grows intriguing andcompelling.

KRUEGER'S MEN would be an excellent reading choice for students of WWII history, as well as any fields that could benefit from the study of a complex crime ring.

Whether a student or casual purveyor, this book is a fascinating study of brilliance and diligent work put to an unsavory use.

Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer
10/25/2006
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
True World War II story that might shock you 10 Nov. 2006
By Armchair Interviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Since the first coins were minted, men have tried (the vast majority of the time unsuccessfully) to make themselves rich by counterfeiting the world's currencies for their own prosperity. Nations too, have used the tactic in time of war for the last two thousand years with little success.

Lawrence Malkin's historical Krueger's Men, details probably the single most successful effort of a nation or state's attempt to devalue another nation's currency in time of war.

From the earliest months of World War II, Nazi Germany plotted to counterfeit one of the history's premier and most stable currencies, the British pound. Through a series of fits and starts, Heinrich Himmler and the vaunted SS hit upon a solution that would haunt the Bank of England for half a century.

What started as an experiment--with a motive of devaluing the currency of the last-standing free country of Europe--sent tremors through the shattered economies of nearly every country in Europe.

Krueger's Men explains in startling detail how the prisoners broke down the Bank of England notes to the microscopic level and eventually produced British bank notes so perfect that many were taken as real by the bank itself!

Millions of pounds worth of forged notes were surreptitiously circulated through a variety of money launderers scattered all around the European continent. This played havoc with British currency that at the inception of hostilities traded at four pounds to the US Dollar.

By the end of the war, the exchange rate was one for one and many British citizens refused legitimate bills when tendered because of the known scheme to undermine their own currency. One has to wonder whether, given enough time, would the British economy have survived?

To understand the scope of the deception, it wasn't until a little over two years ago that the Bank Of England finally admitted that its currency had been forged during the war.

Lawrence Malkin has done extensive research as the epilog, notes, bibliography and appendixes will testify.

Krueger's Men exposes one of the greatest dark secrets of Nazi deception, the will to live of the men pressed into service at the camps, and a victor's unwillingness to admit the truth.

Armchair Interviews: An amazing true story of World War II.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Engrossing read despite some padding 18 Aug. 2008
By Hedley Finger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Krueger's Men: The Secret Nazi Counterfeit Plot and the Prisoners of Block 19 covers the wider context behind the decision by the Nazi hierarchy to counterfeit the currencies of Britain and America in order to undermine their economies. As such it offers background material on this military strategy down through the ages before focusing on the prisoners of Block 19. It is a useful corrective to the film which re-arranges and in some cases invents events, and merges several characters together. For example, you get no sense that over 140 prisoners were involved in the effort but the film suggests only a few dozen at most. It also corrects a technical error in the film that states that genuine US dollars were printed by rotogravure, which has a fine screen through it which would make the edges of curves and type slightly staircased. In fact, the dollar was printed by intaglio in which the plate or roller is etched and the ink is pulled from the depression by the pressure on the roller and the tack of the ink.

An interesting aspect of this account is following the fortunes of the agents who had to unload the counterfeit banknotes in sufficient quantities to destabilise the real currency. The narrative is slightly diminished by the journalistic impulse to add irrelevant colour but, fortunately, the sources of information are cited in full for those who would want to immerse themselves in greater detail.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
If you see "The Counterfeiters" read this book 13 April 2008
By William D. Thurmond - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
An excellent companion piece for the Academy Award-wining (Best Foreign film 2008) "The Counterfeiters." This book will take you behind the scenes on how the operation was organized and executed beyond the confines of the concentration camp. The insights into how the Bank of England dealt with the waves of fake pound notes (bottom line - they didn't) are especially interesting.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The best accounting so far of the Nazi Operation Bernhard. 27 July 2013
By Byravan Viswanathan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have not read another book dealing with WWII espionage as absorbing in its narrative account and complex ramifications as Krueger's Men. Kudos to the author on his research and most interesting story telling. I gained knowledge for the first time on the enormity of this operation and how it came close to destroying Britain's economy and winning the War for the Nazis. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys accounts of the other war fought by the Nazis namely covert operations. Like the Enigma machine they developed that confused and confounded the Allies till it was broken into by brilliant English code breakers, Operation Bernhard, as it was dubbed by the Germans, almost created a disaster. In this story the author has done much research and has put together a narrative so absorbingly interesting that I for one could not put the book down and I covered it with highlights and notes. Krueger's Men is so named for the Nazi operative, Bernhard Krueger, who was entrusted with the task of pulling through the secret manufacture of near perfect counterfeit pound notes and even dollar bills to be scattered all over Europe thus destroying the credibility of the Bank of England and Wall Street. Krueger very cunningly recruited expert type setters, artists, photographers and such experts in the field of counterfeiting from the concentration camps and worked them to produce the paper currency on pain of death and a false promise of freedom after the War. The end of this operation did not produce the results expected and the victims did not all meet the end that they surely expected when WWII ended in Europe in May 1945. How this operation was closely connected to the escape of thousands of Nazi mass murderers to S. America and the pay offs to their foreign based spies is something out of a fantastic story book. Ample references are provided along with suggestions on further reading for the reader to look up the facts on which this book is based.The 2007 Oscar winning film from Germany, The Counterfeiters, covers part of the story of Operation Bernhard but is centered on one individual who played a major role in the production of counterfeit money and who was recruited for the purpose from a concentration camp. However the film though exemplary cannot match the book. I think this book will have a huge readership.
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