The Counterfeiters (2007) — German
Before World War II broke out, the Russian-born Jew Salomon Sorowitsch earned a well-deserved reputation as "the most charming scoundrel in Berlin." The Nazis arrested him as "the world's best counterfeiter" and sent him to Sachsenhausen where they forced him to forge identification cards, passports, documents, bank notes, and money. Lots of money, as in millions of pounds that the Nazis flooded into the British economy to destabilize its currency. The film focuses on Sorowitsch's role, but includes the many other Jews in the concentration camp whose skills as engravers, printers, and graphic artists landed them in a life of relative luxury that included clean beds, food, medicine, opera music and even a ping pong table. Avoiding extermination was one thing; betraying fellow Jews and, in effect, financing the Nazi war effort was another. All sorts of moral complexities plague these inmates, none more so than when one of their own sabotages their counterfeiting work on the American dollar. This film is based upon a memoir by Adolph Burger that describes his role in the operation. The Counterfeiters won an Academy Award in 2007 for Best Foreign Language Film. In German with English subtitles.