We’ll believe it when we see it, but two men, one a Pole and one a German, say they know the location of a heavily armored Nazi train that was rumored to be hidden away in a tunnel during the dying days of the Second World War—a train that could contain upwards of 300 tons of gold.
As CNBC reports, the unidentified men are confident enough in their discovery that they’re filing for a 10% cut of the treasure’s value. The men will not disclose the location of the train until they receive the official assurance from the Walbrzych District Council in southwest Poland. CNBC has confirmed that the district council was contacted by a law firm working on the pair’s behalf, and that it was taking the proposal “very seriously.”
The train is supposedly hidden away somewhere in Lower Silesia in southwest Poland.
In an email to CNBC, an official wrote: “We know that is a military train with guns on it. We can suppose that inside could be also other weapons or even dangerous materials. Even methane gas [could be] inside of the tunnels.”
“We inform about finding by the shareholders [of an] armored train from WWII,” reads the legal letter sent to the Walbrzych council. “The train is likely to contain additional equipment in the form of self-propelled guns positioned on platforms with a total length of about 150 meters. The train also contains valuable, rare industrial materials and precious ores.”
So basically we have a couple of guys who think they’ve found an armored Nazi train, and owing to 70-year-old rumors of a mythical Nazi train filled with gold, precious stones, and weapons, they’re hedging their bets by making the legal claim. Given that rumors like this were rampant in the closing days of the war, I’d be surprised if this train had anything of value inside. It’s pure speculation at this point, and we’re only going by the unsubstantiated claims made by this hopeful pair.
And that’s assuming this isn’t some sort of prank. If true, however, it would be an astounding discovery. Australia’s News.com.au explains the story of the mystery train:
It was the last days of the war. The Russian Red Army was closing in on the city of Wroclaw. German forces were in full retreat.
During the Nazi occupation, a massive treasure of gold, gems, art and historical artefacts had been stripped from Polish museums, galleries and private collections. Then there were the gold reserves of the Wroclaw bank.
Now this untold wealth was at risk of falling into Russian hands.
So, a train — one of many clad with heavy armour and bristling with guns to withstand Allied air attacks — was sent to Wroclaw in May 1945 to remove the loot.
Among the treasures was said to be 23 boxes of gold bullion.
The 150m long assembly of armoured locomotive and carriages was spotted leaving along a south-western rail line.
It was never seen again.
There are actually two gold train stories; one says the train is under a mountain, while the other claims it’s somewhere around Walbrzych.
Yet, there’s absolutely no documented evidence to support this claim. In the years following the war, historians have not found anything to prove that such a train ever existed. It’s important to point out, however, that so-called “gold trains” did exist, including the Hungarian Gold Train. What’s more, Germans did build a complex system of tunnels in the area as part of Project Riese.
We’ll certainly be watching this unfolding story.
Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him at @dvorsky. Top image by Zwimer/1942 Anfang/Public domain