Two men claim to have found a train laden with Nazi gold and gems which has been the subject of rumours and myth for decades. The duo have hired a lawyer and are asking for 10 per cent of the value in return for giving up the location.
According to local legend, in late 1944 or early 1945, as the Red Army advanced across Poland and into Germany, authorities in the Lower Silesian capital of Breslau (now Wroclaw) collected several tonnes of gold bullion and other valuables from the city’s residents, loading it onto a train with the intention of shipping it further within the territory of the Third Reich.
But the train never arrived at its destination and has not been heard of again. One story gave the resting place of the train as an underground siding near the 13th Century Ksiaz Castle. Another locates it in the hills near Piechowice. Over the last few decades, both these regions and other contenders have been thoroughly searched, to no avail, the BBC has reported.
Now two men, a Pole and a German according to local news sources, have informed the authorities in the town of Walbrzych, two miles from Ksaiz Castle, that they have found the train in an underground tunnel.
The location is a likely contender as in 1943-45 the Nazis used POWs and forced labourers to construct a complex of underground tunnels below the castle and the surrounding Owl mountains, although it is unclear what their purpose was to be. Some of the tunnels are now open as tourist attractions.
“Lawyers, the army, the police and the fire brigade are dealing with this,” Marika Tokarska, an official at the Walbrzych district council, told Reuters. “The area has never been excavated before and we don’t know what we might find.”
The armoured train is said to be 150m long and have up to 300 tonnes of gold on board. It is also claimed to have gun turrets along its length.
According to local news source walbrzych24.com, the two men are liasing with city officials, who have formed a committed led by the mayor to investigate the claims. The mayor, Roman Szelemej, has voiced scepticism over the claims, but has promised to monitor the situation.
He is not the only sceptic. Joanna Lamparska, a historian who focuses on the Walbrzych area, told RMF Radio that there is no documentary evidence confirming that the train even exists. “I do not know of any account confirming what is said, that the trains really existed. All the more, for many years, in Piechowice, as well as in Walbrzych, different exploration teams were trying to find these trains,” she said.
“Every five years the news appears that we are now close, we’re at the entrance of the tunnel and we’ll soon get inside.”