Obituary for Adolf Burger


“I was an ordinary book printer, but they made me a counterfeiter when I passed through the gate of the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp”. (Adolf Burger)

Obituary for Adolf Burger
(photo credits: Mauthausen Memorial / Stephan Matyus)

From Prague we have received the sad news that Adolf Burger, one of the last survivors of the concentration camps Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Mauthausen and Ebensee, died on 6 December 2016 at the age of 99.

In August of 1942, Adolf Burger and his wife were arrested in Bratislava by the Slovak Gestapo. Adolf Burger was deported to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, his wife Gisela was murdered at the extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

As trained printer and typesetter, Adolf Burger, by order of the security service of the SS, was transferred to the counterfeiting operation at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp near Berlin. There, the National Socialists forced about 140 Jewish concentration camp prisoners to counterfeit millions of pound and dollar bills. When the Allied troops approached towards the end of the war, the counterfeiting operation was first relocated to Mauthausen, then to the Ebensee Concentration Camp, a sub-camp of Mauthausen. From there, Burger was liberated on 6 May 1645 by soldiers of the US Army.

After the war, Adolf Burger worked again as printer in Prague. In addition to his profession, he dedicated his life to tell the story of the horrors of the Holocaust; he visited thousands of school classes and was a Board Member of the International Sachsenhausen Committee. Burger later wrote the book “The Devil’s Workshop” about the obviously largest counterfeiting operation in history. His memoirs were adapted to serve as screenplay for the film “The Counterfeiters”, which won an Oscar in 2008.

We mourn for Adolf Burger.