London: Four examples from the 134 million-pound worth set of counterfeit bank notes that Hitler had got printed as part of ``Operation Bernhard`` to spark inflation and a cash crisis in Britain during World War Two, will go under the hammer next month.
The dodgy bank notes, printed in 5, 10, 20 and 50 pound denominations, were recovered from Lake Toplitz in Austria and are expected to fetch 2,000 pounds when it is put up for auction at Ludlow Racecourse, Shropshire on August 18.
Nazi spies had been ordered to smuggle the cash into Britain and flood the economy with the fake money.
But Hitler`s plan was foiled when British spies got wind of the idea and intercepted the shipment of the notes.
The Bank of England first learned of a plot from a spy as early as 1939. It first came across the actual notes in 1943, and declared them ``the most dangerous ever seen.``
“These notes are extremely rare,” the Daily Mail quoted auctioneer Richard Westwood-Brookes as saying.
“They were taken out of the lake by divers but have amazingly stayed in great condition.
Westwood Brookes added: “It was a completely audacious plot by Hitler and if it had worked it would have been a serious blow to our economy.
“It is a great story and these notes represent a major triumph for the British intelligence services over the Nazis.”