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Nazi Shipwreck Could Hold Key to Amber Room Mystery

It was sunk after leaving in a hurry with heavy cargo
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2020 4:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – Divers say they have found a shipwreck that could solve one of World War II's most enduring mysteries: The fate of the dazzling Amber Room looted from a Russian palace by Nazi soldiers. The Polish divers say they have found the wreck of the Karlsruhe, a cargo steamer that was sunk with a heavy cargo in 1945 after leaving Koenigsberg, the last known location of the dismantled chamber, reports Reuters. Records show that the Karlsruhe left the port in a hurry during the evacuation of East Prussia. It was sunk by Soviet warplanes off the coast of what is now Poland. Diver Tomasz Stachura says the wreck is almost intact. "In its holds we discovered military vehicles, porcelain and many crates with contents still unknown," he says.

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"The history and available documentation show that the Karlsruhe was leaving the port in a great hurry and with a large load," says diver Tomasz Zwara, per UPI. "All this put together stimulates the imagination," he says. "Finding the German steamer and the crates with contents as yet unknown resting on the bottom of the Baltic Sea may be significant for the whole story." It's not clear when divers plan to return to the site. The room, donated to Tsar Peter the Great by a Prussian king in 1716, was looted from St. Petersburg's Catherine Palace in 1941. A reconstruction at the palace was completed in 2003. (Read more Amber Room stories.)

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