EU news and policy debates across languages


Polish city wants army’s help in securing ‘Nazi gold train’

Central Europe

Polish city wants army’s help in securing ‘Nazi gold train’

A major source of Nazi gold were rings collected from victims of concentration camps.


City authorities in Wa?brzych, in southwest Poland, stated on Thursday (26 August) that they now know the supposed location of a fabled missing WWII Nazi German train, but that they will not proceed without state help. Radio Poland reports.

The Polish press reported a week ago that the two people – a Pole and a German – who had apparently discovered the train would not confirm the location of their find until they had been guaranteed a 10% share in the value of the material.

By law, valuables found on Polish soil are the property of the state.

However, the two men, who submitted their initial claim on 13 August, have seemingly now informed the city of the exact location.

“The find is on city terrain – it’s within our administrative boundaries,” said deputy mayor of Wa?brzych Zbigniew Nowaczyk during a press conference on Wednesday in the presence of the lawyers of the supposed finders.

“I cannot of course reveal the exact place,” the deputy mayor added.

>>Read: Greece puts a figure on Nazi reparations claims

Local authorities will inform the ministry of defence, as the vehicle is supposedly an armoured train and the territory may be mined. The ministries of culture and the treasury will also be officially notified.

“There has to be money in the budget so as to somehow retrieve it [the train],” said Maria Majewska, a lawyer representing the city.

“A train is not a pin,” she added.

The Lower Silesian city of Wa?brzych was part of Germany prior to World War II and named Waldenburg.

In 1943, the Germans launched Project Riese, which involved the construction of a series of underground structures in the vicinity of the city.

As Germans fled the advancing Red Army at the end of the war, innumerable valuables were evacuated from across Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe.

Stories of a train that disappeared in Lower Silesia – loaded with valuables – have endured until today.

The Soviets took Waldenburg (Wa?brzych) on 8 May 1945, and Poland’s borders were shifted west following the war, and the city became Polish.

>>Read: Russia and Poland trade accusations over WWII anniversary

Most ethnic Germans were forced to migrate west to within Germany’s new borders, although some remained in Wa?brzych.

Treasure-hunters have claimed to have found the train in the past, but no evidence was ever found.

Further Reading