Talented artist in Nazi Germany’s counterfeit money campaign

Talented artist in Nazi Germany's counterfeit money campaign 4

Famous for his talent in making counterfeit money before being sent to a concentration camp, Isaac Smolyanov was one of 142 Jewish artists imprisoned in the concentration camp and forced to make fake dollars and pounds for the Germans.

Special talent for drawing fake money

As the youngest son in a Jewish family, Isaac Smolyanov always gave his father headaches.

According to his career as an artist, this `somewhat frivolous` profession, according to his family’s opinion, helped Isaac Smolyanov survive after the Nazi `genocide` that claimed the lives of millions of Jews.

During his youth, Isaac suddenly became interested in painting after a chance visit to the private Fine Arts School opened by famous artist Grigory Miasoedov.


Smolyanov left the country and traveled around Europe, then got married and divorced, and in 1925 settled in Berlin.

Then suddenly he met his teacher and friend Ivan Miasoedov who had also left Russia, but before that Ivan had been in prison in Germany for counterfeiting.

Not long after, counterfeit money made by his friends was discovered in banks across Europe.

But Smolyanov’s royal life did not last forever and he had to pay the price.

By the mid-1930s, Smolyanov’s reputation was skyrocketing, the number of `products` in circulation caused headaches in many countries, and the police announced that Smolyanov was wanted.

Portrait painting changes fate

One year before he was freed, which was also the beginning of World War II, Isaac Smolyanov was considered a Jewish prisoner and taken from prison to the `death camp` Mauthausen.

Together with them, he had to patiently work hard from morning to night, was beaten by prison guards every day, and witnessed the deaths of other inmates.

Smolyanov began to be freed from his daily work to paint portraits of high-ranking Nazi officials and members of their families.

Then, after three years in the camp, Smolyanov was suddenly sent alone to Sachsenhausen.

Talented artist in Nazi Germany's counterfeit money campaign

Isaac Smolyanov (center) and some of his time associates in a Nazi concentration camp

All the engraving machines, printers, and printing paper were collected and many of the best artists and workers from the banks were recruited.

They were all Jews and although the camp provided them with two separate barracks, full meals, books and permission to play games on their days off, they all understood that when

Isaac Smolyanov headed this team as a prisoner who was a professional counterfeiter.

During the years of operation of this team, more than 13 million pounds were produced.

Every cloud has a silver lining

All the prisoners carried out the work of making counterfeit money reluctantly.

He continued his work until the end of the war.

In 1948 he was arrested by Italian police in Rome and interrogated due to the fact that the whole city was flooded with counterfeit dollars.

In the last years of his life, Isaac Smolyanov lived in the city of Porto Allegre in Brazil.

Optimism was one of Isaac Smolyanov’s characteristics even while he was living in a concentration camp.

According to Bich Nguyen

Law of Vietnam

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