Bernhard Krüger, born in Riesa in Saxony, was a major of the SS (SS-Sturmbannführer) famous for naming the secret plan "Operation Bernhard".
Operation Bernhard was born in the Nazi concentration camp of Sachsenhausen in Germany, where the most ingenious banknote counter at the time, Solomon Sorowitsch, was able to reproduce false pounds. The aim was to put billions on the British markets to weaken the UK economy, thus creating inflation to cause damage to the war industry.
Conceived in 1939 after the declaration of the Franco - British war on Germany, it amounted to 134 million pounds, so perfect as to be able to deceive even the Swiss bankers. Major Krüger, director of the Bernhard operation, decided to have the false deeds of the Jews, professionals of the press, produced that would have been executed once they had finished their task.
After September 8, 1943, the decision was made to transfer the pounding center in the castle Labers in Merano. General Kaltenbrunnen entrusts Schwend as head of the "Wendig" group with the continuation of the operation in Merano, a city that has become a strategic place, where foreign diplomats, spies, high-ranking Nazi army officers, fleeing war criminals meet.
The counterfeiting operation ended in 1944 but not wanting to go to the eastern front, and mindful of the fate of the concentration camp prisoners at his command, if his factory were closed, Krüger managed to establish a new operation to forge the american dollar bills. Instructing his workers to work as slowly as possible, he managed to stall the operation until the end of the war, allowing prisoners to be released after being transferred to camps in Austria in May 1945.
One of the counterfeiters, Adolf Burger survived the war and declared that "Major Krüger was in no way like Oskar Schindler He was a murderer like everyone else, six weeks before the end of the war he shot six people just because they were sick and he could not send them to the hospital or they would have talked about the operation. "
After the war, Major Krüger was arrested by the British for two years, and by the French for one. He was released in 1948 and returned to Germany. In 1950, he presented himself before a denazification tribunal where the inmates under his command at Sachsenhausen provided statements that determined his acquittal.
At the end of his life he worked for the company that had produced the special paper for the fake Bernhard Operation. He died in Hamburg in 1989.