Treasure hunters seeking Nazi gold worth £200m discovered canister
11th May 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Treasure hunters seeking Nazi gold worth £200MILLION say they have discovered a 5ft metal canister buried at Polish conservatory where they believe Hitler’s troops stashed four-ton haul

  • Treasure hunters found the metal canister in the village of Minkowskie, Poland
  • The discovery was made using a geo radar search of an abandoned conservatory
  • The dig which began in May last year at the palace which was used by Hitler’s SS as a brothel is hoped to uncover 10 tonnes of gold along with other valuables

Treasure hunters digging for Nazi gold say they have found a metal canister which could contain four tons of looted WWII treasure.

Lying around 10ft below the surface, the canister is thought to be between 4 and 5ft in length and 50cm in diameter.

The discovery was made using a geo radar search of an abandoned conservatory at an 18th century palace in the village of Minkowskie in southern Poland.

The dig which began in May last year at the palace which was used by Hitler’s SS as a brothel is hoped to uncover 10 tonnes of gold along with other valuables in the grounds.

Treasure hunters digging for Nazi gold say they have found a metal canister which could contain four tons of looted treasure. Pictured: A tube above ground shows the area where they say the canister is buried

A visualisation of what the Silesian Bridge foundation says the area may have looked like when the Nazis were burying the canister

The discovery was made using a geo radar search of an abandoned conservatory at an 18th century palace in the village of Minkowskie in southern Poland

The discovery was made using a geo radar search (pictured) of an abandoned conservatory at an 18th century palace in the village of Minkowskie

The dig which began in May last year at the palace which was used by Hitler’s SS as a brothel is hoped to uncover 10 tonnes of gold along with other valuables in the grounds 

The location was revealed by secret documents, a diary (pictured) and a map that the treasure hunters received from the descendants of SS officers belonging to a secretive lodge worshipped by Himmler and dating back over 1,000 years

The treasure was stolen on the orders of SS boss Heinrich Himmler (pictured) towards the end of WWII to set up a Fourth Reich 

The treasure was stolen on the orders of SS boss Heinrich Himmler towards the end of WWII to set up a Fourth Reich.

It is thought to include the so-called ‘Gold of Breslau’ which went missing from police headquarters in what is now the nearby Polish city of Wrocław.

It is also thought to include jewellery and valuables from the private collections of wealthy Germans who lived in the region and who handed their possessions to the SS in order to protect them from being looted by the advancing Red Army.

Roman Furmaniak, from the Silesian Bridge Foundation which is leading the search, said that the Geo-radar readings from the latest search revealed ‘anomalies’.

He said: ‘The first drill we made showed unnatural contortions on one side. We made a second probe and received the same result on the other side. A third probe struck an object.’

‘The shapes and colours show anomalies, in other words human interference in the ground.

‘Metal has a different density to earth, and this is shown as a darker colour in the images.’

The location was revealed by secret documents, an SS officer’s diary and a map that the treasure hunters received from the descendants of officers belonging to a secretive lodge dating back over 1,000 years.

Among the bundle of documents is a letter from a senior SS officer to one of the girls who worked at the palace and who later became his lover.

The officer wrote: ‘My dear Inge, I will fulfil my assignment, with God’s will. Some transports were successful.

‘The remaining 48 heavy Reichsbank’s chests and all the family chests I hereby entrust to you.

‘Only you know where they are located. May God help you and help me, fulfil my assignment.’

Among the bundle of documents is a letter from a senior SS officer called von Stein to one of the girls who worked at the palace in Minkowskie and who later became his lover. The officer wrote: ‘My dear Inge, I will fufill my assignment, with God’s will. Some transports were successful. The remaining 48 heavy Reichsbank’s chests and all the family chests I hereby entrust to you. Only you know where they are located. May God help you and help me, fulfil my assignment’

Roman Furmaniak, from the Silesian Bridge Foundation which is leading the search, said that the Geo-radar readings from the latest search revealed ‘anomalies’ 

Furmaniak said the Foundation had been led to the site by one of the girls, Inga, who had worked at the palace

The dig is taking place in the grounds of the 18th century palace in the village of Minkowskie, Poland

The diary describes one cache as containing 47 works of art of international importance, believed to be stolen from collections in France.

The loot apparently includes works by Botticelli, Rubens, Cezanne, Carravagio, Monet, Dürer, Rafael and Rembrandt.

Other deposits are said to contain gold coins, medals, jewellery and valuables deposited by wealthy people in the city to the local Nazi police for safekeeping.

The Silesian Bridge Foundation is now waiting for permission to raise the canister to the surface.

Permission also needs to be obtained from army sappers as the foundation says that the hiding place could have been boobytrapped by the SS.

Yet another treasure stash at the palace is supposed to contain religious objects gathered by Himmler’s Ahnenerbe, which hoovered up sacred items from around the world in an attempt to find evidence for Hitler’s racial theories.

The palace in Minkowskie is the first of 11 sites across Lower Silesia identified in the pencil-written pages of the diary held by the Foundation, which has taken out a 10-year-lease on the building

Furmaniak said last year: ‘We are making preparations as we speak to start digging at the other ten sites, where we expect to find much more.’

He added: ‘We are described everywhere as treasure hunters. In fact we want nothing for ourselves.

‘The goal of the Quedlinburg Lodge and therefore the foundation is to hand these deposits over to their rightful owners in the interests of world heritage and as an act of atonement for the Second World War.’


The pencil-written pages of the diary (left) are said to identify 11 locations across Lower Silesia which before and during the war was German territory. Right: Roman Furmaniak, head of the Silesian Bridge foundation leading the hunt for the treasure, holding the diary 

Treasure hunters have started digging for 10 tonnes of Nazi gold at an 18th century palace in Minkowskie, southern Poland

In May, the treasure hunters began digging for 10 tonnes of Nazi gold at the palace, with the dig initially concentrating on an old orangery in a small area of the 14-hectare palace park. 

A team of specialists carefully removed layers of earth by hand as it is also being treated as an archaeological site to uncover the foundations of the orangery.

The buried treasure at the palace is thought to include the so-called ‘Gold of Breslau’ which went missing from police headquarters in what is now the nearby Polish city of Wrocław.

Then a German city, Breslau was one of the wealthiest in Hitler’s Third Reich. But, the impending arrival of the Red Army meant that the Germans had to hide tonnes of gold and valuables.

These included bank deposits from the Reichsbank as well as private German banks, and civilian deposits as the population had been urged to deposit gold, money and jewellery.

According to legend, the treasure was collected in the building of the police headquarters and packed into crates.

It was then transported under an SS guard from Breslau towards what was then the town of Hirschberg, today’s Jelenia Góra in Poland, and then the Sudeten mountains.

But, soon after departing, the trail went dead and the gold has never been seen or heard of since. One of the theories is that it was stolen on Himmler’s orders to go towards the creation of a Fourth Reich.

Roman Furmaniak, head of the Silesian Bridge foundation leading the hunt for the treasure, told MailOnline last year: ‘Several people took part in hiding the deposits in Minkowskie. One of them was an officer called von Stein.

‘He used to stay in the palace because he had a lover there. Due to its location it was often visited by high-ranking SS officers who treated it like a brothel.’

Roman Furmaniak, head of the Silesian Bridge foundation leading the hunt for the treasure, told MailOnline: ‘Several people took part in hiding the deposits in Minkowskie. One of them was an officer called von Stein. He used to stay in the palace (an interior image, pictured) because he had a lover there. Due to its location it was often visited by high-ranking SS officers who treated it like a brothel’

The palace in Minkowskie (archive picture) dates back to the 18th century when it was built by Prussian general Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz

Inge was the guardian appointed by von Stein to keep an eye on the hiding place.

Furmaniak said: ‘She was in love with the handsome officer in a black SS uniform. They were like gods.

‘She believed that she would have to stay there for a year, maybe two, then it would all be over.

‘Nobody believed then that the region would come under the control of the Soviet Union.

‘There was a two-month period in 1945 when she had to hide in the forest from the Russians. But when she got back, the area had not been disturbed.

‘If they had dug a hole, they would have taken what they wanted and then left the hole. We have seen this in history many times in Poland.’

At the end of the war, the region was handed over to the new Soviet-controlled Poland, the entire German population was expelled and Poles who had been living in Western Ukraine arrived.

To blend in with the new population, Inge changed her appearance and identity – eventually marrying a local man – and continued to watch over the treasure until her death 60 years later.

The palace in Minkowskie dates back to the 18th century when it was built by Prussian general Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz.

Over the years it changed hands several times and after the war the Red Army and the Polish Army were stationed there at different times.

Later it was used as a local council office, a kindergarten and even a cinema.

Now, in a dilapidated state and in private hands, the Silesian Bridge foundation has taken a long-term lease on the property.

The lodge that handed over the documents takes its name from Quedlinburg, a small town in Saxony-Anhalt. Quedlinburg members were appointed to top positions in many Nazi-era institutions, most notably the fearsome Waffen SS. Among them was SS monster General Hans Kammler (pictured) who led work on the design of gas chambers and crematoria used in death camps

The lodge that handed over the documents takes its name from Quedlinburg, a small town in Saxony-Anhalt.

It dates back to the 10th century and the rule of the first German king Henry the Fowler. SS chief Heinrich Himmler was fascinated by the ruler and believed that he was his reincarnation.

In the 1930s, the lodge formed an alliance with Hitler under which it became part of the cultural elite in the Third Reich.

The deal protected its own status and gave Hitler’s thuggish brown-shirt movement an air of respectability.

It also provided the Nazi project a sense of historical legitimacy.

The Nazis used King Henry’s legacy to legitimise their own power, and they held ritual ceremonies at the site of his tomb in Quedlinburg monastery on the anniversary of his death.

Quedlinburg members were appointed to top positions in many Nazi-era institutions, most notably the fearsome Waffen SS.

Among them was SS monster General Hans Kammler who led work on the design of gas chambers and crematoria used in death camps.

Furmaniak said that the lodge, whose members are descended from the SS, had made the diary and documents available to his foundation as a gesture of atonement for Poland’s suffering at the hands of Germany during the war.

In a statement, the foundation said: ‘The return of world heritage is seen as a milestone on the long path of reconciliation.’

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