Polish authorities seal off site of supposed 'Nazi gold train'
PR dla Zagranicy
The provincial governor of Lower Silesia, south west Poland, announced on Monday that the alleged location of a Nazi WWII armoured train that is supposedly laden with valuables is being sealed off.
Provincial Governor of Lower Silesia Tomasz Smolarz speaks at a press conference in Wrocław. Photo: PAP/ Maciej Kulcyński
“First and foremost we have to be sure of people's safety,” governor Tomasz Smolarz told journalists at a press conference in Wrocław.
“This is an exceptional situation,” he added.
“For this reason, the securing of the area will be continued by police, forest guards and railway security guards.”
Smolarz confirmed that the armed forces will also be called in to survey the site.
Curious members of the public will be banned from entering the woods in the vicinity of the site, which lies on the rail route between the cities of Wrocław and Walbrzych (both of which were part of German territory prior to and during WWII, named Breslau and Waldenburg respectively).
According to police spokesperson Magdalena Korościk, a man was nearly hit by a train while taking a selfie in recent days, hence a move to prevent access to the tracks near Wałbrzych.
Meanwhile, in spite of Deputy Minister of Culture Piotr Żuchowski's claim on Friday that he was “99 percent” certain that the train had been discovered thanks to ground penetrating radar (GPR), Smolarz has stressed that claims have been made in the past, and that they proved to be groundless.
According to Żuchowski, the location was apparently revealed in a deathbed confession of a German man who helped hide the train 70 years ago.
A German and a Polish citizen filed a claim with town authorities in mid-August, calling for 10 percent of the value of the find.
However, by law whatever is found belongs to the Polish state.
As Germans fled the advancing Red Army at the end of the war, innumerable valuables – many of them looted - were evacuated from across Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe.
The Soviets took Waldenburg (Wałbrzych) on 8 May 1945. Poland's borders were shifted west, as finalised at the Potsdam Conference two months later, and the city became Polish. (nh)
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