Some thoughts about the new 'find' of Nazi gold...

How Belgium's gold ended up in the middle of Sahara during World War II |  by Karthick Nambi | Lessons from History | Medium

WHENEVER a story breaks about the discovery of some Nazi gold, I always get very excited indeed. It’s not because I’m swept up in the romance of treasure hunting, but it’s because I know that I’m about to make some money by writing and broadcasting about hidden Nazi treasure. In fact, I can confidently state I’ve made more money writing about Nazi gold than the the worth of all the Nazi gold ever found. Remember the Nazi treasure train, anyone?

And then there was the time when a TV production company once asked if I could contribute to a potential documentary on Nazi gold, and did I know where any gold might be hidden? My obvious reply was that if I bloody knew the whereabouts of a cache of Nazi gold, I wouldn't be telling them about it, and indeed, I might be speaking to them from my private Caribbean island.

Anyway, enough of that. Let’s look at the new ‘find’.

At first glance, it looks promising. According to The First News, four tonnes of Nazi gold have been located in the grounds of an abandoned palace in southern Poland by a group called the Silesian Bridge Foundation. The organisation says that it has found a buried canister using radar after pinpointing the location with the help of an old letter written by an SS officer called ‘von Stein’.

An excavation tube at the surface above where the team claim they have found a metal canister

The foundation claims that the canister, which is still below the surface of what was apparently an ‘SS brothel’, holds so much Nazi gold, that according to some reports it is worth £200 million.

Roman Furmaniak, head of the Silesian Bridge Foundation team, told The Sun newspaper:

The shapes and colours [on the radar images] show anomalies, in other words human interference, in the ground. Metal has a different density to earth, and this is shown as a darker colour in the images. The first drill we made showed unnatural contortions on one side. We made a second probe and received the same result on the other side. A third probe struck an object. Our information says that this particular deposit was hidden by an SS officer called Von Stein. The SS planned to use it to re-establish agriculture in Ukraine to feed the new Reich.

Although it is possible that the canister does contain Nazi gold, I am sceptical for three reasons.

The first is straightforward and lies in the fact that the Nazis made huge efforts to smuggle capital and riches to Switzerland and Spain towards the end of the war.

If you had four tonnes of gold bullion, you wouldn’t bury it in Silesia, but you would spirit it well away from the approaching Red Army. Anybody who was in control of so much gold would have certainly had the resources to transport it, rather than bury it in the ground.

The second reason derives from the inconsistencies in the details of the SS officer’s diary.

When the discovery of the diary was made public in 2019, the diary was said to have belonged to one SS-Standartenführer Egon Ollenhauer. According to my great friend Adrian Weale, that name does not appear on the SS officers’ lists from July 1944 and March/April 1945.

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When the story resurfaced last year, in which there was apparently going to be 10 tonnes – or 48 crates – of Nazi gold, the name of the SS officer had been changed to ‘Michaelis’, which seemed odd.

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The third reason lies in the letter written by ‘von Stein’ to one of the girls who was said to have worked in the palace. The officer wrote:

My dear Inge, I will fulfil my assignment, with God's will. Some transports were successful. The remaining 48 heavy Reichsbank's chests and all the family chests I hereby entrust to you. Only you know where they are located. May God help you and help me, fulfil my assignment.

This just seems utterly implausible. Why would an SS officer reveal such information?

I’m sorry, but all this – and the differing amounts of gold and treasure that have been reported over the years – means that this doesn’t smell right to me. It is possible that I am wrong – who would have thought it? – but I’m confident that the canister won’t contain anything valuable or particularly exciting.

If you do want to find some Nazi gold, then I recommend you take a pick axe to the pavement outside just about any bank in this place below. Happy hunting!

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