Evidence supports claim of Nazi 'gold train' discovery in Poland, officials say

Story highlights

  • The evidence presented is "strong enough to look into the matter seriously," says mayor's aide
  • Details of the treasure hunters' claim are being passed to government ministries to examine
  • The train reputedly went missing in 1945, at the end of World War II

(CNN)The evidence behind a claim by treasure hunters in Poland to have found a legendary Nazi train packed with gold is strong enough that the government has been asked to investigate, local officials said.

News of the two treasure hunters' supposed discovery in a sealed tunnel in Poland's mountainous southwestern Walbrzych district made headlines last week.
    The train reputedly went missing in 1945, at the end of World War II, when the Soviet Red Army was closing in on the forces of Nazi Germany.
    As local lore has it, the train left Wroclaw, then part of Germany and known as Breslau, for Walbrzych, but never reached its destination.
    Arkadiusz Grudzien, assistant to the mayor of Walbrzych, told CNN Thursday that the train has not yet been found -- but that the claim by the two men had been passed to government level, to be studied by the defense, treasury, culture, and finance ministries.
    "We can confirm that if it is indeed where these men claim it is that it is on the territory of Walbrzych," he said.
    Under Polish law, a 10% "finder reward" would apply to the two men if the train is found, he said, but reports that they would be given a cash reward are wrong.
    "At the moment, the train has not been located, but we believe the evidence presented to be strong enough to look into the matter seriously," he said.
    Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Walbrzych deputy mayor Zygmunt Nowaczyk said the discovery had been made within the territory of Walbrzych city -- but that he was not at liberty to share the exact location.
    "Also I would like to add that that this 'find' belongs to the National Treasury legally."
    The two treasure hunters, a German and a Pole, contacted the Walbrzych district council earlier this month to report their claim -- but said they wouldn't reveal its exact location without a guarantee that they will be awarded 10% of the value of the treasure, local official Marika Tokarska said last week.
    Guarantees aside, local historian Joanna Lamparska told Polish station TVN24 last week that the story seemed to her to be unsubstantiated.
    "In my opinion, perhaps the person who reported this pointed officials to a different place from the other train," she said.