Mystery of the ghost train
Radar image gives hope for Nazi treasure find
WARSAW: Seventy years since the Third Reich was consumed in blood and fire, the hunt is on for the loot the Nazis left behind.
The reported discovery by two treasure hunters of a legendary Nazi “ghost train” packed with gold and money and hidden in a long-forgotten tunnel in the Polish mountains will only serve to fuel what has become an obsession for many Germans.
The hunters claim they have uncovered the train, packed with guns and gems, which the Nazis hid from the advancing Soviet Red Army.
Legend has it that the Germans hid their treasures to help fleeing war criminals escape and set up new lives at the end of World War II.
Adding to the intrigue is the recent find of a $24,000 gold bar in a lake near Hitler’s mountain hideaway in Berch- tesgaden, high in the Bavarian mountains.
The ingot was not from the Nazi era, but that matters little to the fortune hunters who now use state-of-the-art equipment in their quest for the billions of dollars worth of art, gold and jewellery.
They plunge into lakes like the ice-cold Toplitz in neighbouring Austria, where seven people have drowned during the past few years, although officials believe the real death toll among illegal divers seeking Reichsbank gold is far higher.
Last month two men – a Pole and a German – claimed to have discovered the le legendary Nazi “gold train”, a 150m-long German train alleged to be full of gold, gems a and weapons.
The train disappeared just before the end of World War II in the proximity of the Polish town of Walbrzych, close t to where the Nazis are said to have loaded it up with valuables for its final voyage in the town of Wroclaw.
It is thought the train may even contain the legendary Amber Room, a series of panels that lined a chamber in the Catherine Palace outside St Petersburg in Russia.
The Russians have rebuilt it since, but it remains one of the most valuable pieces looted during the war.
The train is said to have been entombed in the vast tunnel labyrinth close to Ksiaz castle, which served as Nazi headquarters.
While many were sceptical that the mystical Nazi treasure train had been finally discovered after many years of searching, an official update by the Polish Government suggested that may indeed be the case.
Poland’s Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski said the man who helped hide the train revealed its location shortly before he died.
“Information about where this train is and what its contents are was revealed on the deathbed of a person who had knowledge of the secret of this train,” Mr Zuchowski said. “I am more than 99 per cent certain the train exists.’’
He said that Polish authorities had now seen evidence of the train’s existence in a picture taken using a groundpenetrating radar.