Bad Aussee resistance movement and 'Operation Berhard'

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Bad Aussee resistance movement and 'Operation Berhard' collection, 1944-1956, (1153/1-5) comprises copies of original documents. The collection notably includes copy documents regarding the hiding of art treasures and gold in salt mines at Ischla (copy of original which dates 1944)(1153/1); a copy of an affidavit of Bernhard Krueger, (copy of original which dates 1956) (1153/2), that on the orders of Himmler he was responsible for the production of counterfeit currency using inmates from Sachsenhausen and Auschwitz.

The collection also includes a copy of a report by Hans Kurzweil entitled 'Bericht über die Geldf?lscheraffüre im Konzentrationslager Sachsenhausen', (copy of original which dates 1956) (1153/3), in which he details his version of events and attempts to refute what he regards as the more sensational versions; copy transcript of an interview with a former Austrian resistance member, Frau Hauer-Frischmuth [1944-1956] (1153/4), including details of her activities as a courier whilst resident in the Seehotel, Bad Aussee and an account mainly concerned with the activities of the resistance movement at Bad Aussee [1944-1956] (1153/5), which was formed by Albrecht Gaiswinkler, Valentin Tarra, and Hans Moser.

Administrative / Biographical History

Operation Bernhard was the name of a secret German plan devised during the Second World War to destabilise the British economy by flooding the country with forged Bank of England £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes.

Bad Aussee was the location of a salt mine where the Germans had stored a huge number of European art treasures which they had pillaged. After being dropped into the local area, Albrecht Gaiswinkler raised a force of around 300 men and armed them with captured German weapons. He spent the last weeks and months of the war harassing local German forces. When the Americans arrived, his information helped them capture several eminent Nazis. He and his colleagues had captured the salt mine, prevented the destruction of the artworks held there and were able to hand over 'a number of Nazi treasure hoards', including the Mona Lisa (probably a copy) and the Austrian Imperial Crown Jewels.

Arrangement

Chronological

Conditions Governing Access

Open

Acquisition Information

Dokumentationszentrum oesterreichischen Widerstandes

Other Finding Aids

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue www.wienerlibrary.co.uk

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Location of Originals

Dokumentationszentrum des Oesterreichischen Widerstandes

Bibliography

Krueger's Men by Lawrence Malkin, 2006