Skip To Content
Breaking News

Poles Downplay Nazi Treasure Train Expectations

The Polish governor of the province in which a fabled Nazi train loaded with stolen gold and riches reportedly has been located tried to lower expectations of the discovery.

Tomasz Smolarz, provincial governor of Lower Silesia in south west Poland, also announced that the alleged location of the train car’s discovery has been sealed off in the wake of a surge of treasure hunters and curiosity seekers to the area, Polish Radio reported.

Smolarz said in a news conference Monday in Worclaw that new evidence about the train’s location and its contents “are not any stronger than similar claims made in past decades.”

On Friday, Polish Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski announced he has seen a ground-penetrating radar image indicating that the train, which two unidentified individuals claimed to locate earlier this month, likely exists.

The train is believed to be one that reportedly disappeared in 1945 loaded with gold, gems, art and guns bound for Berlin, one of several trains the Nazis used in an attempt to save their war plunder from the advancing Allies. According to local lore, the train vanished after entering a network of tunnels under the Owl Mountains.

Two men, one German and one Polish, approached government officials in Poland’s southwestern district of Walbrzych earlier this month, claiming to have found the train and demanding a 10 percent finder’s fee.

At a news conference Friday, Zuchowski said he was “more than 99 percent certain that this train exists,” The Associated Press reported.

Zuchowski also said the two men who claim to have found the train learned of its location from a dying individual who had been involved in transporting the train in 1945.

Smolarz said at the news conference that the area where the train is supposed to be located will be secured by police, forest guards and railway security guards. The armed forces will survey the site, he added.

“First and foremost we have to be sure of people’s safety,” Smolarz said. “This is an exceptional situation.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.