Moritz Nachtstern was born in Warsaw, Poland, to a Jewish family that moved to Norway when he was a small child. His parents later emigrated with his siblings to the USA. Moritz chose to remain in Oslo, where he worked as a typographer. After Germany invaded Norway in World War II, he was arrested and deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz, then transferred to Sachsenhausen. There he and other graphic artists were forced to create counterfeit English pound sterling notes for a secret Nazi project meant to destroy Britain's economy. As the Soviet Army advanced from the east, the printing works and prisoners were moved first to Mauthausen then to Ebensee, before being liberated during the last chaotic days of the war. Moritz survived the war and returned to work as a typographer in Norway. His memoir Counterfeiter: How a Norwegian Jew Survived the Holocaust (1949), was the first among the Norwegian Jew' Holocaust stories to be published.