Funding World War II

And the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film of 2007 goes to…

The Counterfeiters or Die Fälscher

If you are not a fan of foreign language films, this could be your chance to open up to a new type of film genre.

Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, it was the first ever Austrian film to receive an Academy Award.

The film was based on a memoir by Adolf Burger, a Jewish typographer, who was imprisoned in 1942 for forging birth certificates to save Jews from being deported.

The movie is a fictitious account of the Nazi plan, Operation Bernhard, which was designed to flood the British Economy with counterfeited British bank notes.

The movie is based on the actual life of, Salomon Smolianoff, a Russian counterfeiter, who survived the Holocaust and was a part of Operation Bernhard. During the counterfeit operation Burger befriended Smolianoff and later based his memoirs on their time working for the Nazis. For the film, the character was renamed Salomon “Sally” Sorowitsch and was played by Austrian actor, Karl Markovics.

Opening up to new movies, especially foreign films is a great way to learn about another culture. It is very interesting to watch a movie about the Holocaust made from the accounts of real people. How are American Holocaust films different from European directed and acted films? To me the film seems more real and draws the viewer in more. This movie delivers on all levels and it can be enjoyed by anyone, even someone who prefers a more Hollywood action packed movie.

The film shows the internal struggle of a man who wants to save his own life, but knows that by doing so he is hurting others. For Sorowitsch, he knows by helping to produce the false bills he is aiding the Nazis, but by complying with their demands he can stay alive.

Including the Academy Awards, the film has won other awards in such venues as the Berlin Film Festival and the German Film Awards.

It is really refreshing to watch a movie that is simple and at the same time larger than life. Exploring European films is very exciting, and it is always fun to get away from the same old Hollywood movies

Interview with Adolf Burger