A diary that was within the possession of a secret society for many years after the end of World War II might include a map detailing the situation of greater than 30 tons (28 metric tons) of gold that was hidden by the Nazis.
Written 75 years in the past by a Waffen Schutzstaffel (S.S.) officer utilizing the pseudonym “Michaelis,” this journal outlined Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler’s plans to cover stolen European riches, artifacts and priceless artworks, in keeping with Polish information web site The First News (TFN).
The diary listed 11 websites the place Nazis hid looted gold, jewels, priceless work and non secular objects. One location that it names is an deserted nicely that extends almost 200 ft (60 meters) underground, beneath the 16th-century Hochberg Palace within the village of Roztoka, in southwestern Poland. The gold on the backside of the nicely is assumed to have come from the Reichsbank within the Polish city of Breslau (now Wrocław) and is estimated to be price billions of euros, TFN reported on Might 26.
For many years after the battle, the “Michaelis” diary was saved secret, hidden away within the city of Quedlinburg, Germany. It was within the possession of a Masonic lodge that has existed as a secret society for greater than 1,000 years and counted elite Nazi officers amongst its members throughout the time of the Third Reich. One member, allegedly, was “Michaelis,” who managed Nazi transport in southwestern Poland, TFN reported. Lodge members in later years included descendants of Nazi officers, in keeping with TFN.
However in 2019, the lodge gave the diary to a Polish basis named Silesian Bridge. The muse introduced in March of final yr that it had obtained the journal from its German “partners” — the lodge members in Quedlinburg — who gifted the journal to the individuals of Poland as “an apology for World War II,” TFN reported.
Included with the journal was a map that purportedly pinpointed the situation of the nicely on the Hochberg Palace grounds the place the Nazi treasure was hidden, Roman Furmaniak, a consultant of Silesian Bridge, instructed TFN. Extra paperwork counsel that after the Nazis hid their ill-gotten riches, they murdered witnesses, dumped the our bodies within the nicely, after which detonated explosives to seal the doorway, Furmaniak instructed TFN.
Riddled with caves
Specialists have decided that the diary was written on the time of WWII, however the journal’s authenticity has but to be confirmed by Poland’s Ministry of Tradition and Nationwide Heritage, ministry consultant Magdalena Tomaszewska instructed TFN.
Nevertheless, the palace stands in Decrease Silesia, a area in Poland that gained notoriety throughout and after WWII as a location the place the Nazis hid items stolen from rich Jews, in addition to artwork that had been looted from museums and galleries, according to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Decrease Silesia was riddled with caves, mines and tunnels, “as well as castles and palaces with cavernous dungeons,” which supplied the Nazis loads of hiding locations for even very massive artworks, in keeping with the ministry.
After the battle, the U.S. authorities’s Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) linked a director of the Silesian Museum named Günther Grundmann to stolen artwork in Decrease Silesia. Grundmann created a listing of 80 websites in Decrease Silesia — certainly one of which was the Hochberg Palace — the place he hid treasured objects and wealth, however many of those caches are thought to have been looted by the invading Russian military as they marched by on their strategy to Germany, in keeping with the Polish Ministry of International Affairs.
The Nazis plundered an estimated 5 million European artworks from Jews, museums and personal collections, and a workforce of 350 Allied officers and specialists often known as “Monuments Men” — an investigative unit of the ALIU — have been tasked with monitoring them down after the top of the battle, ABC News reported in 2013. At one web site alone, a salt mine complicated in Altaussee, Austria, there have been hundreds of stolen work, illustrations, uncommon books, statues and tapestries. A cache of explosives within the mine complicated was meant to have been blown up within the occasion of Germany’s defeat, however the explosives have been by no means detonated, ABC Information reported.
About 63,000 artworks and cultural artifacts that have been stolen from Polish Jews by the Nazis are nonetheless lacking, and the Polish authorities is actively working to safe their return, The New York Times reported in January. Nevertheless, officers in Poland have themselves been criticized for failing to return work in nationwide museum collections that have been stolen by the Nazis from Jewish collectors within the Netherlands, in keeping with the Occasions.
As for the alleged golden hoard below Hochberg Palace, the homeowners plan to refurbish and restore the constructing, which has fallen into disrepair, and upcoming conservation work will embody a seek for the long-buried nicely, TFN reported.
Initially revealed on Live Science.