Archaeological breakthrough: discovery of a Nazi-era golden treasure “hidden in the last days of World War II” | World | News


The metal detector made this astonishing discovery under a tree near Luxembourg inside an envelope engraved with the Nazi swastika and eagle, bearing the word “Reichsbank”. Experts said the marks suggest the coins were stolen from the wartime German bank and may have been internal work, as chaos reigned in the dying days of the Third Reich. Florian Bautsch found 10 pieces near the city of Lüneburg, in the north of the country, and professionals searched 207 more, believing that they were of French, Belgian, Italian and Austro-Hungarian origin.

The 31-year-old said: “I knew I had found something important when the detector started going crazy in my hand.”I recovered 10 coins from a hole one meter deep, then I called the authorities.”

The central bank of Nazi Germany was called Deutsche Reichsbank and analysis of the metal in the seals suggests that they were made after 1940.

Mario Pahlow, a local archaeologist, said: “All of this was found under a pine tree which is about 50 years old and must have grown afterwards, so we know it must have been buried in the last days of the war. or soon after. ”

Dr Pahlow and other experts analyzing the treasure said it was likely part of Deutsche Reichbank’s gold reserves and that the fact that the coins were buried suggests they were stolen.

Edgar Ring, an archaeologist at the Lueneburg museum, believed the culprit was probably an insider.

He added in 2015: “It was either someone who worked at the Reichsbank and had access to it, meaning it could only be someone who was there in an official role, or someone who took advantage of the situation when the parts were being transported. ”

The Reichsbank scattered large amounts of gold, silver and silver in secret hiding places across Germany as Berlin collapsed under the onslaught of Allied bombers.

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Most of the coins were minted between 1850 and 1910, the oldest dating from 1831.

Chemical analysis showed that the parts were probably packaged between 1940 and 1950.

Dr Pahlow said the coins, which are in ‘excellent condition’, were worth between € 190 (£ 132) and € 210 (£ 146) each, making the collection worth around € 45,000 (31 £ 335).

But he added that it was difficult to put a price on their historical value.

He said: “It’s reasonable to assume that you could buy a really good suit, including a waistcoat and a top hat, with one of these pieces. ”

Mr Bautsch was awarded € 2,500 (£ 2,200) for his discovery, but said the most important thing for him was to advance scientific knowledge.

The whole is now on display at the Lueneburg Museum.


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