Krueger's Men: The Secret Nazi Counterfeit Plot and the Prisoners of Block 19

Krueger's Men: The Secret Nazi Counterfeit Plot and the Prisoners of Block 19

by Lawrence Malkin
3.5 2

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Krueger's Men: The Secret Nazi Counterfeit Plot and the Prisoners of Block 19 by Lawrence Malkin

The true story that inspired the Oscar-winning movie The Counterfeiters.

"An astonishing and exciting tale. The drama of how the Nazis mounted a complex counterfeiting operation inside a concentration camp is matched by the chilling life-or-death saga of the prisoners involved. It reads like a thriller, but it's all true." -Walter Isaacson, author of The Wise Men and Benjamin Franklin

Only a fortnight after the start of WWII, at a meeting that has remained a secret for more than half a century, Nazi leaders and officials of the German Reichsbank approved an audacious plot to counterfeit millions of British pounds.

Drawing upon top-secret bank records, German and British correspondence, and interrogation transcripts, Lawrence Malkin reveals how an unremarkable SS officer named Bernhard Krueger attempted to bring down the world financial system. But when Krueger discovered that forging pounds, and later dollars, was no easy task, he made a crucial decision: he would seek out the greatest counterfeiters of pre-war Europe and enlist them in the effort. He found them in an unexpected place: a Nazi concentration camp.

KRUEGER'S MEN is the remarkable story of how these Jews managed to save themselves. Part Schindler's List, part The Great Escape, this account of the Nazi plot is a fascinating portrait of deception, courage, and moral awakening.

"Few writers understand the mysterious intricacies of money better than Lawrence Malkin, and in KRUEGER'S MEN he has reconstructed one of the last great untold stories of World War II." -Robert Crowley, founding editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History

"A hard gem of a book." -Tampa Tribune

"The compelling story of the Third Reich's attempt to wreck the British economy by flooding Europe with millions of counterfeit British pounds. . . . 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

"An engrossing and often inspiring chronicle." -Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316029162
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 03/24/2008
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,198,133
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Lawrence Malkin's work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Fortune, Connoisseur, The Times Literary Supplement, and many other magazines. He lives in New York with his wife, who survived the Nazi occupation of her native Belgium.

Michael Prichard has recorded well over five hundred audiobooks and was named one of SmartMoney magazine's Top Ten Golden Voices. His numerous awards and accolades include an Audie Award and several AudioFile Earphones Awards.

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Krueger's Men: The Secret Nazi Counterfeit Plot and the Prisoners of Block 19 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will admit I was a bit unsure when I purchased this book. Now that I have read it I can't say I was blown away by it, nor did it put me off. The writing is admittedly dry and it reads very much like a textbook. But Malkin has compiled detailed information to give the reader as firm a grasp on the situation as possible. At the same time much of the human emotion so intrinsic to many WWII narratives does shine through the hardness of facts. Overall I would have to recommend this book to those people who are interested in this subject. Anyone looking for a compelling human narrative should probably look somewhere else.
WorldReader1111 More than 1 year ago
I liked 'Kruger's Men.' It is, first, well-written for a book of its type, with a solid, functional voice that gets the facts across. Likewise, the text is presented in a reasonably objective fashion, with minimal coloring or bias on the author's part (though, there were several instances where some comments were a bit less than professional). Content-wise, the book is pleasingly rich, being comprised of a comprehensive collection of historical sources, which the author does a fine job of synthesizing into a coherent, readable account of the Third Reich's Operation Bernhard. In this aspect alone, 'Krueger's Men' is a good, valuable read. However, what I found most interesting about the book was what lay between its lines. Namely, there's a compelling human drama woven through 'Krueger's Men,' as seen through the lens of WWII and its perilous circumstances (which, as is demonstrated especially well in this book, applies to the Nazi aggressors nearly as much as their victims, as seen in the social- and institutional brutality shown to one another, and their own respective fight for survival; though this context doesn't excuse the Nazi's actions, it does certainly help to understand them). Furthermore, the book is an excellent study in the deeper, hidden reality of things, that which lurks beneath the official record and the wholesome banners beneath which we so often conduct ourselves. In the story of Officer Krueger and his captive counterfeiters, with their subtle sabotages and intentionally overblown demands, we are shown the bigger, unspoken story of things, in which a fully logical, valid reason can lay behind seemingly illogical situations and behavior. In this way, the book goes a long way to helping one understand the true nature of the greater world, as applied to the many bureaucracies and veiled intentions that we are likely to encounter on any given day, where compartmentalized interests can overtly be working together while covertly working at cross purposes due to secret self-interest. Some real, practical wisdom in this lesson, for sure. All in all, I found 'Kruger's Men' to be as educational and enriching as it was entertaining (and, at times, heartfelt). My thanks goes out to this book's author, subjects, and publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work and service.