Falskmønter for Hitler


  • Anders Otte Stensager


Counterfeiter for Hitler

Sven Hoffgaard, a Danish Jew from Copenhagen, was captured by the Gestapo with his wife and two daughters on their way to neutral Sweden in late 1943. His wife Karen and his daughters Kate and Lillian were immediately deported to Theresienstadt while Sven without any further notice was transported directly to Sachsenhausen outside Berlin.

From the day he entered the concentration camp, he was isolated in blocks 18 and 19 in the so-called Kleines Lager together with almost 140 other Jews from all over Europe who all happened to be bankers, as Sven himself, or typographers. Skills which were required by major Bernhard Krüger, the organizer and head of the largest forgery ever. According to Krüger, the plan consisted in producing several million false banknotes similar to those issued by Bank of England, distributing them throughout Europe and thereby destroying the English economy and creating a hyperinflation.

During Sven’s time in captivity, he was able to write two small diaries, which give us a first-hand account of his daily life and struggle for survival. In the beginning of 1945, Sven and his fellow inmates were deported to Mauthausen outside Linz in Austria, but ended up in Ebensee, a small camp southwest of the main camp. Here, Sven experienced the liberation by the Americans in the beginning of May 1945. Just a few months later he was able to go travel back to Copenhagen where he finally meet his family again after almost one and a half years of separation and uncertainty.

The story of Sven Hoffgaard is the only known story about a Danish Jew who unintentionally participated in the most ambitious Nazi forgery based in Sachsenhausen.



Stensager, A. O. (2008). Falskmønter for Hitler. Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk Kultur Og Forskning, 17(1). Hentet fra https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/105338