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Competing claims for 'Nazi gold train'

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 29.08.2015 12:45
The World Jewish Congress and a Russian lawyer are among the latest voices to have raised questions about restitution of property from a supposed Nazi 'gold' train that may have been located underground near Wałbrzych, south west Poland.
Ksiąz Castle on the outskirts of Wałbrzych. Photo: PAP/Aleksander KożmińskiKsiąz Castle on the outskirts of Wałbrzych. Photo: PAP/Aleksander Kożmiński

“To the extent that any items now being discovered in Poland may have been stolen from Jews before they were sent to death ... it is essential that every measure is taken to return the property to its rightful owners or to their heirs,” said Robert Singer, head of the World Jewish Congress, in a statement made in New York.

“We very much hope that the Polish authorities will take the appropriate action in that respect,” he added.

Meanwhile, Russian lawyer Mikhail Joffe was quoted by Russian media as stressing that “if the property has been taken from the USSR, then the cargo, in accordance with international law, must be passed to the Russian side.”

On Friday, Poland's deputy minister of culture Piotr Żuchowski claimed that ground-penetrating-radar (GPR) had indicated that it is 99 percent likely that an armoured Nazi German train has indeed been discovered.

The location was apparently revealed during a 'deathbed confession' of a German man who took part in concealing the train 70 years ago.

A German and a Polish citizen filed claims regading the train in mid-August, calling for 10 percent of the worth of the find.

However, deputy minister Żuchowski has stressed that according to Polish laws, the find belongs to the Polish state.

The Lower Silesian city of Wałbrzych was part of Germany prior to World War II and named Waldenburg.

In 1943, the Nazis launched Project Riese, which involved the construction of a series of underground structures in the vicinity of the city.

As Germans fled the advancing Red Army at the end of the war, innumerable valuables were evacuated from across Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe.

Stories of a train that disappeared in Lower Silesia - loaded with valuables – have endured until today.

The Soviets took Waldenburg (Wałbrzych) on 8 May 1945, and Poland's borders were shifted west following the war and the city became Polish.

Most ethnic Germans were forced to migrate west to within Germany's new borders, although some remained in Wałbrzych.

Treasure-hunters have claimed to have found the train in the past, but no evidence was ever found. (nh/rk)

Source: IAR

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