Radar de­tects ob­ject be­lieved to be Nazi gold train

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY MONIKA SCIS­LOWSKA

A Pol­ish of­fi­cial said Fri­day he has seen an im­age made by ground­pen­e­trat­ing radar that seemed to prove the dis­cov­ery of an ar­mored Nazi train miss­ing in south­west­ern 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 ar­mored train with valu­ables in a dis­used tun­nel and de­manded a fi­nan­cial re­ward.

Deputy Cul­ture Min­is­ter Piotr Zu­chowski told re­porters the lawyers had been in­formed the train was over 100 me­ters (109 yards) 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 per­cent cer­tain that this train ex­ists.”

“We will be 100 per­cent sure only when we find the train,” 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.

“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 la­bor camps, it is es­sen­tial that ev­ery mea­sure is taken to re­turn the prop­erty to its right­ful own­ers or to their heirs,” the or­ga­ni­za­tion’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,” 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, Zu­chowski said. The per­son, who was not iden­ti­fied, had also in­di­cated the prob­a­ble lo­ca­tion of the train, he said.

AP

A gen­eral view of the city of Wal­brzych, Poland, Fri­day, Aug. 28, near which a Nazi gold train is be­lieved to be hid­den.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.