A GERMAN town has been left bewildered by a mysterious philanthropist who leaves envelopes stuffed with thousands of euros for good causes but leaves no clue as to his identity.
So far the anonymous benefactor has given away €190,000 in a series of donations that started back in November in the Lower Saxony town of Braunschweig.
Sometimes found in mailboxes, other times tucked under doormats and once, as a priest found, left between the pews of a church the cash always comes in unmarked envelopes, and sometimes accompanied with instructions on how it should be spent.
In an indication that the "good Samaritan", as he or she has been dubbed, has knowledge of German tax law, the donations never exceed the maximum non-taxable sum of €10,000.
The first recipient of the Samaritan's generosity was a local who had thousands of euros in cash stolen in a burglary. Since then a soup kitchen, a seriously disabled boy and a museum have been among those to receive an envelope.
The philanthropist last struck last week leaving an envelope stuffed with 20 €500 notes under the doormat of a hospice.
"We couldn't believe it at first," Eva Reuleke, a care manager at the hospice, told the DPA news service. "We had just been talking about how great these donations are."
Just who the person is has become a subject of widespread debate in the Saxon town. Some talk of a guilt-laden criminal trying to shed ill-gotten gains while others have speculated that the Samaritan is a rich person who has not long to live.
The only clue as to the identity is that he or she reads the Braunschweiger Zeitung, the local newspaper, because many of the donations were made to people written about in the paper.