A military train used by the Nazis during World War II has been found in Poland. Polish officials confirmed on Wednesday that the find had been made but were unclear on whether the train was laden with loot or gold. Stories of a lost train full of gold from the Nazi regime have been rife in the region and the new find definitely adds historical significance to the myths that have thousands of locals treasure hunting.
Last week, two treasure hunting locals had approached Polish authorities through their lawyer, after finding a German Nazi train deep in the tunnels of Walbrzych, just a few miles off Poland’s border with the Czech Republic. However, the two had stated they would only tell authorities where the train was if they were guaranteed a ten percent finder’s fee for whatever was inside the train.
On Wednesday, Polish officials confirmed there was indeed a Nazi train find.
Deputy town mayor Zygmunt Nowaczyk said, “The city [of Walbrzych] is full of mysterious stories because of its history. Now it is formal information — [we] have found something.”
Officials, however did not reveal the exact location of the find and would not detail the contents of the train.
In the last days of World War II, frustrated by allied air strikes, the Nazis built multiple tunnels underground, up to five feet high, to protect them from the strikes. The Walbrzych tunnels, for example, are unseen from the air due to the dense Silesian forest above. Some of these tunnels were used to transport loot and weaponry to Nazi stations. To this day, there are Nazi artefacts littering the tunnels.
Historical myths have it that a rogue German official loaded one of the trains with weapons and gold and disappeared with it somewhere in the tunnel in 1945.
So popular is the legend that tour guides narrate it to thousands of visitors every year, sending thousands of gold seeking excursions into the tunnels every year.
Local officials have held several crisis meetings urging residents not to go on the treasure hunts as the tunnels could be booby trapped. Walbrzych governor Jacek Cichura said, “Our priority is the safety of the public. If the gold train actually exists, then it is probably mined. There is also the possibility of methane.”
The find adds a significance to Walbrzych’s historical legends. Though authorities have not revealed the contents of the train, their reluctance could cause anxiety among the locals, smitten with folk legend and tales of trains full of gold. More unwarranted hunts will be the consequence.