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Missing Nazi gold train ‘discovered’ by Polish radar

Official says he saw shape of underground platform, claims to be ‘more than 99 percent certain’ that rail cars exist

This photo from March 2012, shows a part of a subterranean system built by Nazi Germany in what is today Gluszyca-Osowka, Poland. According to Polish lore, a Nazi train loaded with gold and weapons vanished into an underground mountain tunnel like this one at the end of World War II. (AP)
This photo from March 2012, shows a part of a subterranean system built by Nazi Germany in what is today Gluszyca-Osowka, Poland. According to Polish lore, a Nazi train loaded with gold and weapons vanished into an underground mountain tunnel like this one at the end of World War II. (AP)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish official said Friday he has seen an image made by ground-penetrating radar that seemed to prove the discovery of an armored Nazi train missing in southwestern Poland since World War II.

Local lore says a German train filled with gold, gems and armaments went missing around the city of Walbrzych while it was fleeing the Red Army in the spring of 1945. Fortune-hunters have looked for the so-called “gold train” for decades, and in the communist era, the Polish army and security services carried out apparently fruitless searches for it.

During the war, the Germans built a system of underground tunnels in the mountainous region of Walbrzych and the city of Wroclaw, from where the train is believed to have departed. The area was German territory at the time, but became part of Poland when the war ended.

Recently, a Pole and a German, acting through lawyers, told local authorities they had found an armored train with valuables in a disused tunnel and demanded a financial reward.

Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski told reporters the lawyers had been informed the train was over 100 meters (109 yards) long and called it an “exceptional” discovery.

Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski speaks to the press in Warsaw, Poland, on August 28, 2015 about the possible discovery of an armored Nazi train missing in Poland since WWII. (AP/Alik Keplicz)
Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski speaks to the press in Warsaw, Poland, on August 28, 2015 about the possible discovery of an armored Nazi train missing in Poland since WWII. (AP/Alik Keplicz)

He said he was shown an image — albeit blurred — from a ground-penetrating radar that showed the shape of a train platform and cannons, and added he was “more than 99 percent certain that this train exists.”

“We will be 100 percent sure only when we find the train,” Zuchowski said.

Walbrzych regional authorities will conduct the search, using military explosives’ experts, in a procedure that will take “weeks,” he said.

A person who claimed he helped load the gold train in 1945 said in a “deathbed statement” the train is secured with explosives, Zuchowski said. The person, who was not identified, had also indicated the probable location of the train, he said.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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