Monday 26 June 2017

Mystery of Nazi gold train deepens as Polish experts fail to find a trace

Tunnels built by the Nazis in Gluszyca, Poland
Tunnels built by the Nazis in Gluszyca, Poland

Colette DeCoeur in Warsaw

Polish geology experts said they have found no traces of a train at a site allegedly hiding a World War II Nazi train.

A team of researchers from the University of Science and Technology in Krakow examined the site in Walbrzych, in southwestern Poland, last month using magnetic and gravitation equipment.

Nonetheless the two treasure hunters, who claimed to have found a legendary Nazi gold train lying in a secret tunnel in southern Poland, were yesterday standing by their position despite the denials from the university analysts who now insist that there is no train.

Piotr Koper, one of the hunters, insisted: "There is a tunnel and there is a train" and that the contrasting results may have stemmed from the use of different technology.

The possibility that the train, which, according to legend, disappeared into the hills around the southern town of Walbrzych in the dying days of the Second World War laden with gold, had been found in a secret tunnel made news around the world when the story broke in August.

The local government in Walbrzych commissioned a team from Krakow to conduct a survey. It concluded while there might be a tunnel there was no evidence of a train, especially an armoured one carrying precious metals.

Mr Koper said the only way to find out once and for all, was to dig.

This may not happen as the location lies beside an important railway line.

Christopher Marinello, CEO of Art Recovery Group, said: "It's encouraging that Nazi-era looting still attracts so much attention even if it has been slightly unwarranted in this case. This could have been the find of the decade and hopefully will encourage even more interest in identifying and recovering the countless objects still missing at the hands of the Nazis. We work very closely with the Polish Ministry of Culture and we trust that they will proceed with utmost diligence from here."

Local folklore said an armoured train had been carrying gold from what is now Wroclaw as the Soviet army closed in at the end of World War II. It was said to have gone missing near Ksiaz castle, three kilometres from Walbrzych.

Earlier this year, Piotr Koper, from Poland, and Andreas Richter, from Germany, told authorities they knew the location of the train. Through lawyers, they said that they wanted 10pc of the value of anything that was found. At the news conference yesterday, Mr Koper questioned the survey methodology and said he still believed the train was there.

Information about the train's location was reported to have come in a deathbed confession from a person who claimed they had helped to conceal it.

Between 1943 and 1945, the Nazis forced prisoners of war to dig more than nine kilometres of tunnels near Walbrzych that were apparently to be used as factories.

Irish Independent

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