Digging remains ongoing in southwestern Poland, where explorers seek to reveal the place where they believe Nazi Germans abandoned a train full of weapons and purloined gold while escaping from the advancing Soviet hordes at the end of the Second World War. Using private funds, Andreas Richter, a German, and Piotr Koper, a Pole, dig at a place where they believe the gold train is buried in an underground mountain tunnel. They have been joined by volunteers and are using heavy equipment to clear away the burden to find the fable tunnel.
 
They began digging on August 16, while they announced since then that they have found “non-local” material at the site, thus giving them hope that the train may indeed be nearby. Based on magnetic surveys of the area, scientists from Krakow University concluded that there is no train to be found there, even though they admit that a tunnel may be present.
A yellow excavator moved earth along railroad tracks at the spot where Richter and Koper believe the train to be buried. The pair have claimed that their radar equipment detected the mythic gold train deep in the earth near the Polish city of Walbrzych. 
 
The initial inclusion by a government official that he was "99 percent sure" the train was there precipitated by a rush of gold hunters and rubbernecks from all over Europe, thus giving a boost to the region of Silesia, which has been poverty stricken ever since unprofitable coal mines were closed after the fall of the former Communist government.
 
helping to feed the frenzy. The arrival of treasure hunters and curiosity seekers from across Europe gave a welcome financial boost to the coal mining region of Silesia, which has struggled since unprofitable mines in the area were closed after the fall of communism.
A spokesman for the gold-digging duo said that six companies have used radar devices and found anomalies in their read-outs that indicate the form of an underground tunnel on an elevated area running along the railroad tracks.
Even though historians doubt that the gold train ever existed, the Polish government appears willing to indulge the fantasies of the local people. During the height of gold fever, the World Jewish Congress reminded Poland that in case the train is discovered, all valuables that belonged to Jews murdered in the Holocaust must be return to rightful owners and heirs. 
 
The main source of the legend of the gold train is a retired miner, Tadeusz Slowikowski. He claims that in the 1970s, a German man told him that a train departed in early 1945 from the city then known as Breslau (which is known today in Poland as Wroclaw) while the Soviet army advanced into the area that had been occupied by Nazi Germany. The German allegedly said that the gold-laden train never arrived in Waldenburg (now Walbrzych) some 45 miles away. The project was allegedly called “Riese”: giant in German, which included subterranean tunnels beneath the Góry Sowie “Owl Mountains” in southwestern Poland.
 
A local historian, Pawel Rodziewicz, told The Associated Press in 2015 that there is no doubt that the gold that left Breslau was taken to the German central bank in Berlin and elsewhere, so there would have been no reason to take any to Waldenburg, where the approaching Soviets could find it. Moreover, Rodziewicz said a secret railroad tunnel could not have been built into a hill near frequently used tracks. He argues that no documents have been discovered that prove that the purported project was ever initiated. In contrast, documents of the most secret Third Reich projects have been uncovered, including the construction of subterranean tunnels beneath the Ksiaz Castle in Walbrzych. 


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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