Polish military says site of alleged Nazi gold train is safe
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish military personnel have completed a survey of terrain around the site of an alleged treasure-laden Nazi train near Wałbrzych, south west Poland.
One of the underground chambers constructed in the vicinity of Wałbrzych during World War II by the Nazi German regime. Photo: wikimedia commons/Chmee 2
The survey by chemical, radiation and explosives experts was designed to clarify whether there are any hazardous materials at the site to a depth of one metre.
Polish Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has confirmed that no such hazardous materials were found.
“For us, for the regional governor and the Ministry of Defence, it was important to rule out any kind of threat,” he said.
“Visiting Walbrzych, I understood that people were very much afraid of that [threat].”
The minister noted that the next stage in the search for the train is in the hands of local authorities, but that the army will not be involved.
“I think that the mayor of Wałbrzych will talk to the minister of culture and national heritage Małgorzata Omilanowska,” he said, noting that it is partly a question of costs, as clearing any potential threats "is not a cheap undertaking.”
Myth or reality?
A Polish and a German man submitted a claim in August with Wałbrzych authorities in relation to the supposed train. They said they had located it using ground penetrating radar (GPR).
Rumours about hidden treasures have lingered in Lower Silesia since the end of World War II.
In 1943, the Nazi regime launched Project Riese in Lower Silesia, constructing a large network of underground chambers. Some of these are already accessible to the public, under the auspices of local museums.
The site where the train was allegedly hidden 70 years ago lies on the rail route between Wrocław and Walbrzych, both of which belonged to Germany prior to and during WWII, named Breslau and Waldenburg respectively.
As Germans fled the advancing Red Army at the end of the war, innumerable valuables – many of them looted - were shifted from across Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe.
The Soviets took Waldenburg (Wałbrzych) on 8 May 1945. Poland's borders were moved west - as finalised two months later at the Potsdam Conference - and the city became Polish. (nh/rk)