Graphical version

Wiener Library

Bad Aussee resistance movement and 'Operation Berhard'


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 1153

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: Bad Aussee resistance movement and 'Operation Berhard'

Date(s): 1944-1956

Level of description: collection

Extent: 1 file

Name of creator(s): Dokumentationszentrum oesterreichischen Widerstandes


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.


Scope and content/abstract:

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 Geldfälscheraffäre 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.


Language/scripts of material: German

System of arrangement:


Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

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

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Dokumentationszentrum oesterreichischen Widerstandes


Existence and location of originals:

Dokumentationszentrum des Oesterreichischen Widerstandes

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:

Krueger's Men by Lawrence Malkin, 2006



Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: January 2008

Concentration camps | War crimes | Humanitarian law
Counterfeiting | Crime
Money | Financial resources | Finance
Operation Bernhard (1942-1944) | Military operations | Military engineering
Works of Art | Arts
World War Two (1939-1945) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)

Personal names
Krueger | Bernhard | 1904-1989 | SS Sturmbannführer
Kurzweil | Hans | 1944-1956

Corporate names
Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
Sachesenhausen concentration camp