POLAND – A supposed treasure known as the “Nazi Gold Train” is claimed to have been discovered just outside the remote area of Walbrzych in southwest Poland thanks to 44-year-old Piotr Koper and his friend.
Despite the persistence of hunters, historians and conspiracy theorists who believe the train is one of three that was lost long ago, others believe that the discovery is nothing but a wild goose chase for a city that is already financially strapped and lacking incentive to support the search. However, the question remains: What kind of treasure could the train hold?
The trains could be filled with looted artwork, documents, artifacts, and gold worth millions of dollars. The “gold train” search will begin in Walbrzych, a city in southwest Poland. Some historians say that the trains disappeared as the Red Army gained momentum near the Czech border. The area was also home to Project Riese, a complex network of Nazi tunnels and weapons programs. There are no existing plans, records, or witnesses to the project.
Despite the claim, however, historians like Joanna Lamparska and Bartosz Rdultowski question Koper and his friend’s discovery, especially since they are asking for 10 percent of the train’s treasure.
“Every five years the news appears that we are now close, we’re at the entrance of the tunnel and we’ll soon get inside,” Lamparska said in an interview with RMF FM Radio.
“[The tunnels under the mountains of Walbrzych] could be part of any old mines,” Historian Bartosz Rdultowski told The New York Times. “Before the war, there were about 200 of them here.”
As far as the city of Walbrzych, the Mayor’s spokesman, Arkadiusz Grudzien, reported that the Krakow Mining and Metallurgy Academy will conduct an initial non-invasive inspection to determine the claim’s validity. If the results of the inspection are promising, the Academy will then schedule an excavation attempt for the early spring when the weather is more conducive to such activities.
Whether the discovery proves to be true or not, the Walbrzych community is making the most of it as they have taken to selling gold train mementos to the influx of tourists and treasure hunters. Perhaps even a believed wild goose chase can prove to have a silver lining.