Hitler's counterfeit British banknotes set for $3,100 sale at Mullock's
Banknotes that could have brought Britain to financial collapse come to auction in August
Counterfeit banknotes, devised by Hitler to trigger inflation in Britain during the Second World War, are set to come to auction in August.
The notes, said to be almost indiscernable from the real thing, formed part of Operation Bernhard, a German plan to smuggle around £134m-worth of fake money into Britain, initiating a financial crisis.
It is perhaps no surprise that Hitler concocted the idea, following the Nazi's rise to power on the back of the inflation crisis of the early 1930s.
But British spies were one step ahead and just a handful of the 9m notes produced made it into circulation, although the British government was sufficiently concerned to withdraw all notes over £5.
Four specimens, in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations, were among many dumped in Austria's Lake Toplitz at the end of the war by the Nazis.
They are expected to make close to £2,000 at Mullock's auction at Ludlow Racecourse, UK on August 18.
The items, removed from the lake by divers, are said to be in surprisingly good condition, and could attract plenty of attention, as auctioneer Richard Westwood-Brookes told UK newspaper, the Daily Mail.
"Due to the quality they have been kept in and the fact they are so rare I think they are likely to garner a fair bit of interest," he said.
"They rarely come up for sale and are very rare because most were destroyed."
Last year, a collection of 13 early Hitler paintings sold for £95,589, also at Mullock's.
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