Financing an army can be very expensive. Cost of supplies, military equipment, weapons, and arms is the main lifeline in war, which can decide the distinction among winning and losing the battle. During the World War II, it was believed that Nazi Germany had a strategy – plunder their casualties to fund its armed forces.
Even before the World War 2 began, Germany expanded their cash reserves by looting three primary sources; Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Danzig. The theft increased Germany’s official gold reserve, by $71 million. This reserve is what we know today as the infamous Nazi Gold.
During the war, this practice served to be very efficient especially on a larger scale. Germany was able to walk off with $550 million including $223 million from Belgium and $193 million from the Netherlands. Although only a rough estimate the amounts do not include cash and treasures collected from private companies and individuals. The total value of Nazi Germany’s stolen assets remains unknown.
Nazi Gold discovery?
In 1939 the US 90th Infantry Paris division engineers blasted a hole in Kaiseroda salt mine in Merkers, Germany in the search of the reputed gold. The blasting revealed 3,682 bags and cartons of German currency, 80 bags of foreign currency, 8,307 gold bars, 55 boxes of gold bullion, 3,326 bags of gold coins, 63 bags of silver, one bag of platinum bars, eight bags of gold rings and 207 bags and containers of Nazi loot and valuable artwork. It was also believed that German Soldiers had melted gold teeth from the victims from the concentration camps. These treasures were ordered to be “taken away,” but later were traced into a variety of European Banking institutions. Other government bodies had confiscated some of the gold for “safekeeping.”
Some years ago, Piotr Koper and Andreas Richter owners of a mining exploration company witnessed a death bed confession of a rumored train laden with treasures and gold located within the tunnels of Walbrzych, Poland. The tunnels were once part of a secrete Nazi project snaking through the Owl mountains called Project Riese that may have included Fuhrer head quarters and arms industries of which little is known today.
In the communist era many searches were conducted based on legends of gold, but no confirmations are conclusive that the train did exist.
Despite the odds Koper and Richter working with underground radar claim to have found the train and obtained an agreement to a finder’s fee of 10% with the Polish government when the discovery is confirmed. The alleged train was never found even after series of excavations as recent as 2016, and the mystery continues.
Another alleged Nazi gold discovery, occurred in the late twenty century. According to a treasure hunter in 1990, Nazi Gold was discovered a Bavarian Forest but the landowner didn’t allow him to remove it. Hans Glueck has been hunting for the Nazi gold treasure for many years. After years of exploration he was able to pinpoint the exact location of the treasure, which matched the survey coordinates of his research and studies. Using a Geomagnetometer, he confirmed that there was something buried below the Bavarian forest. However this forest is privately owned, and according to the Bavarian law, everyone can look for treasure anywhere, but when it comes to digging treasure, permission must be granted. Unfortunately, the landowner of the said forest refused to allow it. Today, the alleged site where Glueck claimed to found Nazi Gold has never been excavated and lies pristine and untouched.
There are literally dozens of stories of the mystery of undiscovered Nazi Gold. Aside from the ambiguity and the frightening past that these treasures have endured, how much more will be discovered? Time will only tell what lost Nazi secrets of misfortune will become a modern day fortune.