LONDON: Two treasure hunters claim to have found a mysterious Nazi train which disappeared on its way to Germany from Hungary in 1945 carrying guns, gems and other valuable items, including paintings estimated to be worth up to USD 200 million.
A Pole and a German claim to have located the train and are seeking 10 per cent of the value of the findings. The 150-metre-long train disappeared in 1945, packed with guns, industrial equipment, gems and other valuable treasure.
The loot was from the then East Germany city of Breslau, now called Wroclaw and part of Poland, as the Red Army closed in at the end of World War II.
It is believed that the train entered a tunnel near Ksiaz Castle in the mountainous Lower Silesian region and never emerged. The tunnel was later closed and its location long forgotten.
Local authorities in Poland's southwestern district of Walbrzych said they have been contacted by a law firm representing the two treasure hunters, 'express.co.uk' reported.
"Lawyers, the army, the police and the fire brigade are dealing with this. The area has never been excavated before and we don't know what we might find," Markia Tokarska, a Walbrzych council officer said.
Trains were used to spirit Nazi loot back to Berlin as US-led Allied and Soviet forces surged towards the German capital from the west and the east in 1945. In the case of the so-called "Gold Train", Nazi forces sent 24 freight carriages from Budapest towards Germany, filled with family treasures.
These included gold, silver and valuable paintings seized from Hungarian Jews and estimated to be worth up to USD 200 million.
The train was intercepted by US soldiers, who, according to a later US investigation, helped themselves to some of the loot.