Historian: $500M Treasure Hides in Old Nazi Bunker
Some consider it “the world’s most valuable piece of lost art,” says Reuters, and according to a Polish historian, the Russian treasure may have been located. Bartlomiej Plebanczyk on Friday told his country’s TVN24 he’s “almost certain” the Amber Room, a chamber made of gold leaf and amber panels, lies under an old World War II German bunker in northern Poland. Plebanczyk’s theory was born out of his use of ground-penetrating radar at the site, he tells the Mirror, which reports the previously unknown room measures only 65 square feet. “We need to drill into the room in the bunker and lower a camcorder there,” says Plebanczyk, who feels confident he’ll find the Amber Room, which is valued at around $500 million and was stolen by the Nazis from Russia’s Catherine Palace in 1941, the AP reports.
The Nazis carted the room to what was the German region of Koenigsberg, which the British bombed repeatedly in 1944. The bunker is about 60 miles from there, near the Polish village of Mamerki, and the entire bunker-and-tunnel complex once held 250 German buildings where 40 senior Nazi officers and 1,500 other men lived. The other evidence cited by Plebanczyk, who heads the Mamerki Museum? He says a resident claimed to see German trucks carting big cases to a bunker there immediately after the war. And in the 1960s, other residents said Erich Koch—a senior Nazi who reportedly knew the room’s location—was taken to the site from a prison in Poland where he was serving time for crimes during the war. But the Telegraph notes that the Soviets themselves concluded the British bombing, or perhaps even Russian shelling, likely obliterated the Amber Room.