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SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 26, 2008, 06:06 PM


Dig For Nazi Treasure Continues

The search for looted Nazi gold and the so-called Amber Room continued on Tuesday in Deutschneudorf, a village in eastern Germany. Nothing has been found yet, but the treasure hunters remain confident.

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David Irving comments:

I AM beginning to wonder whether I have made a historic and (for me) uncharacteristic blunder.
   In prison in Vienna, in June 2006, I was approached by a knowledgeable young man of Tyrolean origin, who had changed his name to Von W., that of a famous Austrian philosopher and contemporary of Hitler.
   His father had been a Luftwaffe officer, he said, and among his belongings he had found a map giving the precise location in East Germany of the Bernstein Zimmer, and ... well, let me print on a different page the relevant passage of my prison memoirs.
   The similarities in the story will be obvious at once -- the East German location, the map with "coordinates", the Luftwaffe officer...
   Armed with the data which this young man had given me, I even prepared a blackmail letter to the German Government, demanding the right to lead the search: of course I am banned from German since 1993.
   As my own (necessarily difficult) inquiries from Cell 19 continued, I concluded that the young man was a fraudster and filed the papers away, and the letter was never sent.

I WISH the diggers well, but my feelings when the search ends may well be mixed.

A replica of the Amber Room is on display in the Catherine Palace, St. Petersburg.

Treasure hunters in Germany resumed their search for hidden Nazi treasure on Tuesday but progress is proving agonizingly slow and the drilling could go on for days before anything is found.

Engineers, watched by a crowd of expectant reporters and local residents, drilled several holes 10 meters deep into the ground near the village of Deutschneudorf near Germany's border with the Czech Republic, to explore a man-made vault believed to contain tons of looted gold, and possibly the legendary Amber Room.

The mayor of Deutschneudorf, Heinz-Peter Haustein, told SPIEGEL ONLINE last week he was "more than 90 percent certain" that he had found the whereabouts of amber and gold from the fabled chamber, which Nazis looted from the Soviet Union in 1941.

Haustein said electromagnetic tests conducted two weeks ago showed that the vault contained around two tons of a precious metal, probably gold, packed into crates.

The mayor, who is also a member of the federal German parliament, is convinced the Nazis hid looted treasure in an underground labyrinth near Deutschneudorf in the final months of World War II.

He's been looking for it for the past decade and started a fresh dig this year after he was contacted by Christian Hanisch, who found coordinates for the vault while going through the documents of his late father, a Luftwaffe air force signaller.

The plan now is to pass cameras through the drilled holes to explore the vault, a process which could last into next week, Haustein told reporters. "The coordinates date from the Second World War and may be inaccurate by 10 or 20 meters," he said. -- cro/dpa/AP

Copyright 2008 Der Spiegel / DPA


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