The Counterfeiters 

Directed by Stefan Ruzowitsky

The Counterfeiters tells the true story of the prisoner work detail in Sachsenhausen concentration camp that was tasked with Operation Bernhard, a Nazi scheme to develop counterfeit pounds and dollars with which to flood the British and American markets in the pivotal days of WWII. The skilled workers on the Bernhard detail are forced to become complicit in the Nazi war effort, knowing that they will be killed the moment they cease yielding results. With a bracing lack of sentimentality and a surprising level of wit, the film depicts the weird and fascinating sociology of the debased camp universe. Based on the memoir of Adolph Burger, a surviving member of the Sachsenhausen detail, Counterfeiters keeps its focus narrow, wisely refraining from any attempt at synopsizing the Holocaust itself. The result is a concise, suspenseful story that explores the struggle to retain one’s humanity amid the base individualism that survival in such conditions necessitates.


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