Nazis’ Gold Train Is Said to Have Been Found in Poland

Eric Zuesse

On 27 August, Polish Radio announced that two people have presented evidence that they have discovered Nazi Germany’s legendary “Gold Train,” containing art and that’s especially “laden with precious metals,” and that the pair are demanding a 10% cut of its value, for finding this nearly 200-yard-long train, in a hidden mountain tunnel in the Polish town of Walzbrych, formerly the German town of Waldenburg. Nazis had constructed the tunnel in 1943, to hide valuables from Soviet forces, in the event that Germany might lose the war.

Soviets conquered Nazi forces at Waldenburg on 8 May 1945; and, until now, this heavily armored train had not been found. On August 27th, the town announced that agreement was reached with the German citizen and the Polish citizen, who jointly claim to have made the find, agreeing to pay them their demanded 10%. The report says, “As outlined in their claim to Wałbrzych authorities, ‘the train contains valuable objects, costly industrial materials and precious metal ores’.” So, the town is now seeking assistance from the Polish government, to provide mine-detection and other help, so that the site can safely be entered by the town’s officials, in order that the train’s cargo can be itemized and estimated. According to a report in Britain’s Telegraph, Poland’s military are “cordoning off” the area.

The initial Polish report noted that, “As Germans fled the advancing Red Army at the end of the war, innumerable valuables were evacuated. Thousands of these, including artworks such as Raphael’s ‘Portrait of a Young Man’, which had been looted from Poland’s Czartoryski Museum during the war, have not been traced until this day.”

According to warhistoryonline, “Damien Simonart, France Info’s Warsaw correspondent, said: ‘If there is Nazi gold in this train, we are not talking about Indiana Jones here but gold pulled from the teeth of Jews in death camps.’ He added that if the two unidentified treasure hunters really have struck gold, they will have to question their consciences over its origin if they do seal a deal to take home 10 per cent of its value.”

However, with the announcement now, that Walzbrych has agreed to that payment, there will also be complex legal decisions by the Polish Government, and perhaps also some broader questions of international law, regarding whether and how assets that were extracted from people who were exterminated can belong legally to any government, and to any finders; and, if so, then at what percentages.

The report by Simonart says that, “The Walbrzych region is home to dozens of kilometers of underground galleries. The Nazis had dug them during the war to secretly produce strategic weapons, but it may very well hide a train full of gold.”

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • colinjames71

    I see no problem with a finders fee, but I don’t know about a straight percentage considering the origin of the gold in particular. But for finding lost, precious art, hell yeah, give em something. Only seems fair, as long as any items that can be traced to specific families’ survivors are returned too.

    • cettel

      Well, but what do the relevant laws say? What are the relevant precedents?

      • gamesjon

        As far as I’m aware there are no relevant precedents. I mean I can’t recall any case where something involving anything like the circumstances surrounding how these valuables were obtained that was “discovered” by people.

        That being said it is rather audacious claim to make out the bat without anyone having any clue what exactly is in this train that all the gold is from the teeth of Jewish extermination victims (or for that matter extermination victims in general). I mean it could be, it could only partially be made up of gold taken from extermination victims, or none of it could be…. There were many other sources of gold and precious metals that the Nazis stole from around Europe/Russia other than just those they murdered.

        I know in instances where Nazi loot (usually gold) was “discovered” in Swiss banks they entered into a settlement with the World Jewish Congress to end their lawsuit to the tune of I believe like $1.25 billion (give or take). It covered the gold, other valuables that were taken, even labor for the work done in the camps and some other things. But, this whole scenario is I believe rather unique.

        I imagine that if any of the gold did come from concentration camp victims that it will again be given back to Israel, the World Jewish Congress, or some other Jewish entity (since they could never even begin to figure out who it was from to find surviving relatives). That portion of the find would I imagine (unless the finders are huge d**ks) receive the normal fee for discovering some piece of a countries antiquity/treasure which isn’t a ton, but it isn’t nothing + the normal honors/awards from that country as well. Then everything that they (scholars I would imagine, not the people who found it) determine wasn’t from concentration camp victims they will be able to negotiate payment on.

        • cettel

          sounds like I would imagine. but this stuff wasn’t stolen from Israel. equating Holocaust-victims with Israel would be an insult to those victims — adding insult to injury. maybe in the 1950s it wouldn’t have been, but it would be today.

          • gamesjon

            You won’t get any arguments from me on that… but you know that is what would happen (like the settlements with the Swiss banks… they settled with the World Jewish Congress but the money went to account of Israeli Banking Trust with individuals being able to make claims and receive payouts from them.)

        • Tommy

          and why should it go to World Jewish Congress? or Israel? Maybe those valuables were stolen from Polish citizens? Wake up, Jews weren’t the only nation that suffered in Nazi camps. Nazis they stole plenty of valuables from Polish citizens, have it in mind next time.

          • gamesjon

            Did you read my comment?
            “That being said it is rather audacious claim to make out the bat without
            anyone having any clue what exactly is in this train that all the gold
            is from the teeth of Jewish extermination victims (or for that matter
            extermination victims in general). I mean it could be, it could only
            partially be made up of gold taken from extermination victims, or none
            of it could be…. There were many other sources of gold and precious
            metals that the Nazis stole from around Europe/Russia other than just
            those they murdered.”

          • Sharleen Targon

            Jews are not innocent and deserve nothing for what they have done to Palestine

        • Sharleen Targon

          Jews never returned the belongings they stole from the Palestine people

          • gamesjon

            Israel doesn’t even recognize doing anything wrong to Palestinians… with the U.S. right there allowing them to continue their occupation/repression/if not outright genocide of Palestinians… I’m not sure what that has to do with this issue though. Also let’s be clear Israel and Jews are not the same thing to be used interchangeably as one feels.

            Do you agree with Israelis’ and essentially (if tacitly,) the U.S.’s view that when some primitive, almost harmless unguided rocket is fired at ( sometimes into,) Israel by someone or some small group that since it came from the occupied Palestinian territory Palestinians are terrorists and therefore it’s right for the occupiers to carry out their actions resulting in the deaths of hundreds or thousands of Palestinians?

            Also, do you agree with Israel’s and the U.S.’s view that since some percentage of Palestinians choose to fight back to try and defend their right to self-determination and against an occupying/racist force and sometimes they choose to do so in a way that targets non-military units they don’t deserve to be dealt with diplomatically and don’t deserve to be given their own country?

            If your answer is no to those questions, as I am sure it is, why don’t you stop doing that very same shit on this issue. You are no better than those you hate/despise when you do exactly what they do.

      • colinjames71

        Good questions, I’m talking in general principals basically. I assume it’s a labyrinthine process of national and international laws, especially considering personal belongings stolen by the Nazis, assuming that’s part of it. Maybe all of it. Interesting story but not to the point that I’d research it. I seem to have a vague recollection of people getting rewards for historical finds, yeah? I just hope all efforts are made to return things to the owners or their descendants; the countries and museums where they came from where possible. That to me is the important thing.