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’.
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.
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.
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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Well, somebody can read, find mistakes and don't believe headlines in unserious yellow press papers and YouTube videos. Nobody will work with the facts, may be, they don't want to show their own bad investigations since 2019. Unbelievable.
Hmmm. Times seemed to have dropped it now. Presumably not newsworthy! Strange! Ha Ha!
'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'. Wow. Well done Guy! I make that just shy of £1250000. I'm just going to have to work harder!
It’s buried under a trailer park near Area 51, where Elvis lives. True fact.
I’ll tell you where it is…!! It’s buried in my paddock! All welcome to come and dig it up…….. if you can dig to an even 18” and no more. I’d be grateful. 👍🏽👍🏽🤣🤣
As has been pointed out there will be no doubt stories emerging in the years to come, as historians and researchers piece together such information and either validate or repudiate such stories. It must be remembered that, just as today in Ukraine, the spoils of war can be a temptation to both the victor and the vanquished!
There is a little known book, published as fiction in the early 50's, titled "To the Victor the Spoils" by one Colin MacInnes. He served as a FSO in Military Intelligence, their task to round up high ranking Nazis. My father served alongside him (Colin) and there was always the risk that they could be tempted to be bribed with favourable items or information. Sadly none of them are around now to divulge such tales but I have to say I've been tempted more than once to buy a metal detector!!
Who can forget the NAZI treasure train? If it's not Toplitz, in a collapsed tunnel, or in Swiss bank, Where is it? In fevered imaginations.
Yes. Nazi gold. My single favourite historical topic of all time. The answer to your question "remember the Nazi treasure train, anyone?" is - OF COURSE I REMEMBER THE NAZI TREASURE TRAIN! That was like the most excited I've been in years. And as you say, there never is any gold, is there. But it never stops me being excited about it.
Hmm, that letter in particular does sound dud — even in a cheap thriller it wouldn't sound particularly convincing.
Gold is all very well, but surely the really exciting thing is everything else that went missing in the chaotic later stages of the war ... not just the Amber Room, either.
It wouldn't surprise me if not only the vaults of Swiss banks, but also suburban bungalows in Texas or Nebraska, ended up producing, now that the relevant generation is dying off, seriously important works of art long assumed to have been destroyed ... as well as random gems like the original scores of Wagner operas, etc, etc, where it is quite possible the present owners have no idea what these objects are, other than something about which grandpa used to tell increasingly garbled, implausible, easy-to-ignore tales. So your income stream in that respect is unlikely to dry up any time soon!
Again? Your concerns as to the veracity of this story are very spot in. And I'm also puzzled why they were shipping gold to "re establish" agriculture in Ukraine. Wasn't it Von Manstein that wrote Germany need Ukrainian wheat to feed the army, and if the Ukrainians starved, so be it? Germany never paid for anything in the occupied countries and territories, they just took it, stole it. I remember the treasure train story very well. Never believed it. But, there is "war gold" out there, I'm sure. British WWI and WWII ships sunk by U boats whilst transporting gold. HMS Edinburgh was one, and another HMS Lusitanic (?) from WWI had £1.5 billion worth when located on the seabed (value at time of discovery). I remember the news reports, but admit I had to Google as I couldn't remember the names. And something in the back of my brain is saying to me that there was a German U boat wreck found with gold aboard, and proved not to. So, if Germany did ship "Nazi Gold" out of the country in '45, it'll be in the vaults of the Gnomes of Zurich, or at the bottom of the sea. Another great read, Walt. 👏
You think the Swiss banks didn’t give up all their secrets when they were asked to in 98 or so? I always wondered about how honest they’d been...
The lure of anything of great value hidden is timeless and especially if it is gold and a promise of fabulous wealth. Kipling's "The Explorer" comes to mind: "Something hidden. Go and Find it. Go and look behind the Ranges/Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you.Go!" Perhaps a huge Nazi gold hoard was found and those who did haven't said a word... This hunt for that gold will no doubt be ongoing for more and more decades to come!
Love reading about looted art and in particular textiles by the Nazis. But as with the gold bars so much will have been dispersed all across different countries, given to family/work colleagues, etc so that things could be gathered at a later date. Nazis were obsessive about keeping records, but obviously were careful to leave out certain information. Obviously there is still a lot hidden. Sadly there is going to be so much that i don't think even the next generation will find. Still waiting for someone to find the Amber Room…….i think the next generation will still be searching. From the photo the gold almost looks like a copper.
Rather find the Benoir Bugatti myself or similar!