cover image Counterfeiter: How a Norwegian Jew Survived the Holocaust

Counterfeiter: How a Norwegian Jew Survived the Holocaust

Moritz Nachtstern, Ragnar Arntzen. Osprey Publishing (UK), $24.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-1-84603-289-9

One of just a few accounts from prisoners who worked for the Nazi's Operation Bernhard, this grim account of imprisonment and survival by the late Nachstern (1902-1969), in English for the first time, takes readers inside Hitler's plan to bring down the British and American economies. In 1942, Nachtstern was arrested by the Nazis and, along with more than 500 others, deported to Germany and imprisoned at Auschwitz. A stroke of luck rescues him from the gas chambers, sending him to work as a typographer at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, producing fake British money that the Nazis hoped to use to destroy the UK economy. Nachstern's prose is measured but vivid, his loneliness a steady beat against which his struggle unfolds. Two essays put the man and his memoir in perspective, and an emotional foreword by Nachstern's daughter recalls a man so haunted, he would wake sobbing and screaming. Arresting from start to finish, this harrowing memoir is full of compassion, pain and strength that illuminates from the inside a little-known episode in the Nazi effort. B&w photos.