Up to 300 tonnes of gold have purportedly been found in a Nazi train secretly hidden in a tunnel in Walbrzych, in Poland’s south-west, Thursday. According to the District Authority’s Assistant Marika Tokarska, the train clearly exists. She said that the issue should be approached seriously. Two men of German and a Polish citizenship claimed the discovery of the train with a letter sent to the local authorities. They asked for a guarantee of a 10 percent of the value of the contents as a finder’s reward. Their lawyer said there was credibility to their discovery, stating it is not a myth, however this particular discovery he expects to just be a military train hidden from the approaching Red Army. The 150 metre (492 ft) long train is believed to have been hidden in a tunnel near Ksiaz castle by the Nazis on their retreat in 1945.
A POLISH official said Friday he has seen an image made by ground-penetrating radar that seemed to prove the discovery of an armoured Nazi train missing in south-western Poland since World War II.
Local lore says a German train filled with gold, gems and armaments went missing around the city of Walbrzych while it was fleeing the Red Army in the spring of 1945. Fortune-hunters have looked for the so-called “gold train” for decades, and in the communist era, the Polish army and security services carried out apparently fruitless searches for it.
During the war, the Germans built a system of underground tunnels in the mountainous region of Walbrzych and the city of Wroclaw, from where the train is believed to have departed. The area was German territory at the time, but became part of Poland when the war ended.
Recently, a Pole and a German, acting through lawyers, told local authorities they had found an armoured train with valuables in a disused tunnel and demanded a financial reward.
Network … during the war, the Germans built a system of underground tunnels in the moun
Network … during the war, the Germans built a system of underground tunnels in the mountainous region of Walbrzych and the city of Wroclaw. Picture: AFP/Janek Skarzynski Source: AFP
Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski told reporters the lawyers had been informed the train was over 100 metres long and called it an “exceptional” discovery.
He said he was shown an image — albeit blurred — from a ground-penetrating radar that showed the shape of a train platform and cannons, and added he was “more than 99 per cent certain that this train exists.”
“We will be 100 per cent sure only when we find the train,” Mr Zuchowski added.
The World Jewish Congress said that any gold, precious stones or other valuables that might be found could have been looted from Polish Jews by Nazi officials during the war and should be returned.
Probable location … Ksiaz castle, under which there may the ‘Nazi gold train’ may be hi
Probable location … Ksiaz castle, under which there may the ‘Nazi gold train’ may be hidden, according to Polish treasure hunters. Picture: AFP/Janek Skarzynski Source: AFP
“To the extent that any items now being discovered in Poland may have been stolen from Jews before they were sent to death, concentration or forced labour camps, it is essential that every measure is taken to return the property to its rightful owners or to their heirs,” the organisation’s CEO, Robert Singer, said in a statement. “We very much hope that the Polish authorities will take the appropriate action in that respect.”
Walbrzych regional authorities will conduct the search, using military explosives’ experts, in a procedure that will take “weeks,” Mr Zuchowski said.
A person who claimed he helped load the gold train in 1945 said in a “deathbed statement” the train is secured with explosives, Mr Zuchowski said. The person, who was not identified, had also indicated the probable location of the train, he said.