Well there's a surprise...
Interesting but quite complex hoax which seems to have begun in 2015 on the back of the Polish Gold Train ‘mystery’! Championed by MailOnline’s Polish correspondent Ed Wight since 2019 The Telegraph , The Express, and even The Times all fell for it earlier this year.
All in all, it is a fairly puerile bit of fantasy but I’m still rather fascinated by it nevertheless.
It’s a tale where the perpetrators have managed to bring in several high-ranking Nazis including Himmler, thrown in a long-lost Raphael, a secretive Quedlinburg masonic lodge, added the secret diaries and letters of (non-existent) SS/Police officers, and brought the whole thing to the boil with a heavy flavouring of Nazi Gold. What else could you ask for?
It's so entertaining that even the most talented reporters (who, this year, just cribbed the Mail) would have missed at least some of the giveaways like changing the names of the supposed SS officers and disguising and confusing the reputed status of the treasure i.e. 48 trunks from the Reichsbank, 28 tonnes of treasure, 4 tonnes of Nazi Gold, £200million in Nazi Gold etc, etc. But, for me, the best one is the suggestion that the local wealthy residents of Breslau should have taken all their valuable jewelry to the Breslau Police Station and handed it over to the Police or Gestapo for safekeeping in the face of the Russian advance! Absolute cracker that one.
You don’t even have to be a historian to realize that this farce is just the product of a disturbed mind. But well done to the ‘historians’ from the Discoverer Magazine Exploration Group anyway!
I will close on my favourite piece regarding the lady who was entrusted with looking after all this stuff after the SS officer’s demise -the redoubtable
Roman Furmaniak (of the Foundation) said: 'She was in love with the handsome officer in a black SS uniform. They were like gods.
'She believed that she would have to stay there for a year, maybe two, then it would all be over.
'Nobody believed then that the region would come under the control of the Soviet Union.
'There was a two-month period in 1945 when she had to hide in the forest from the Russians. But when she got back, the area had not been disturbed.
'If they had dug a hole, they would have taken what they wanted and then left the hole. We have seen this in history many times in Poland.'
At the end of the war, the region was handed over to the new Soviet-controlled Poland, the entire German population was expelled and Poles who had been living in Western Ukraine arrived.
To blend in with the new population, Inge changed her appearance and identity - eventually marrying a local man - and continued to watch over the treasure until her death 60 years later. Ha Ha!
Roman Furmaniak from the Foundation said: “We know we are looking in the right place because the foundation spoke several times to Inge (the woman entrusted with the gold’s safety) before she died and she told us to look here.”Kalbar/TFN
Prior to the dig starting, the foundation said it had found a bayonet in Inge’s old house.
Furmaniak said: “We know from the Quedlinberg lodge that Inge had a bayonet and two guns.
“She would have hidden them because if the Russians found them it would have been very dangerous for her.” (Followed by a photo of Bayonet!)
Interesting that a high-ranking SS officer should entrust such sensitive information to a prostitute in February 1945 (The Mail and The Times both say the palace was a brothel after all)
Keep it up chaps and good luck.
No surprise, gold that was stolen would have been melted or smuggled elsewhere a long time ago. Guy mentions eating a hat made of gold?.......well there might very well be some goldsmith out there who indeed created a hat made of gold .....unaware of where the gold might have come from. Stranger things have happened.
I believe there would have been trains smuggling gold away and that high ranking Nazis got first pick, but many would have been smart enough to get the loot out the country before they could get themselves out. I always keep hoping that families and museums will be reunited with lost paintings and treasures. Those who are always on the trail of stolen Nazi art are relentless and do such an amazing job. But with this story........mmmm
Secret hoard of Nazi gold, the gift that keeps on giving. Only not literally. I thought it was either on a buried train or in Lake Toplitz. Or is it on a train in Toplitz?
Why am I not surprised!!!
Any cases of successful hunts and finds. Or even stumbling upon loot?
Lovely. Wonder if the ark of the covenant is down there as well?
Can't help feeling that the FB respondent GEMO could have been a little more positive about what there was to be read and what they had seen and what they thought about it rather than just negative about the findings of the other. Historian trash-talking does have a long and look illustrious history, and while the occasional punch-up is fun, it can get a little tedious for bystanders. Prefer a nice factual style of what is known and how learning reaches conclusions, rather than a critique of the other party's reasoning.
Guy - why is the myth of Nazi gold such a pervasive one? I assume there's good evidence a lot was looted. Was there ever any evidence of it being stashed or would it have been spent? It cropped up continually in fiction post war (Goldfinger, Kellys Heroes etc) - in the way that the El Dorado myth might have done a century earlier.
Are there more stories like this?