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SS Officer's Diary Points to Billions in Looted Gold

Owners of Polish palace plan to search for buried well
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2020 8:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – Rumors of a Nazi gold train in Poland resulted in nothing. But a new gold rush could be coming with the airing of a 75-year-old diary written by an SS officer in charge of transport, who describes 11 locations where Nazis hid gold, jewels, priceless paintings, and religious artifacts. The diary was held for decades after World War II by a Masonic lodge in Quedlinburg, Germany, that had counted Nazi officers among its members, reports Poland's First News. This March, however, the Polish foundation Silesian Bridge announced it had been given the journal. A rep, Roman Furmaniak, tells First News that it refers to a 200-foot-deep well on the grounds of 16th-century Hochberg Palace in Roztoka, Lower Silesia, where 28 tons of gold bars were hidden. Believed to have come from the Reichsbank in Breslau (now Wroclaw), the gold would be worth billions of dollars.

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Furmaniak believes he knows the location of the well, but getting there may not be easy. Other documents suggest Nazis used explosives to seal the entrance after dumping the bodies of witnesses inside, Furmaniak says. After the war, a director of the Silesian Museum admitted to hiding riches at the Hochberg Palace as well as dozens of other sites in Lower Silesia, per Live Science. Home to "countless caves, tunnels, pits and mines … as well as castles and palaces with cavernous dungeons," it's really the perfect hiding place, according to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yet most sites are thought to have been plundered by the Red Army in 1945. Even so, the owners of Hochberg Palace plan to search for the well during an upcoming restoration. Among the thousands of still-missing treasures looted from Poland is Raphael's Portrait of a Young Man, per Daily Art. (Read more Nazis stories.)

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