Polish Army to Join Search for Nazi 'Gold Train'

Defense ministry says it will send equipment to further the frenzied search for a German military train.

AFP/Janek Skaryzynski

Poland will deploy army forces to help search for the alleged Nazi "gold train” of plundered precious metals, weapons, jewels and art, according to AFP.

Two Polish treasure hunters recently sparked global interest after notifying authorities they had pinpointed where the German World War Two military train is buried.

Now the Polish army has pledged to send equipment to the south-western region of lower Silesia and further the search for the train carriage.

In a statement issued Tuesday morning, a defence ministry spokesman said: “The defence minister decided to send technical equipment to search the area in order to determine whether a train actually exists.”

“The army is acting at the request of the governor of the region concerned,” it continued.

The two men who claim to have identified the train’s whereabouts have requested 10 percent of whatever is recovered, although the World Jewish Congress intervened last week and requested anything found belonging to victims of the Holocaust was returned to its original Jewish owners or descendents.

On Monday, Tomasz Smolarz, the governor of the south-western region of lower Silesia, said it was “impossible to claim that such a find actually exists at the location indicated based on the documents that have been submitted”.

The governor's cautionary statement comes in the wake of comments made by senior culture ministry official Piotr Zuchowski, who said he was “more than 99% convinced” a railway carriage had been found using ground-penetrating radar images on Friday.

A Polish non-government organisation has filed a complaint with state prosecutors against Zuchowski, saying his claims of the train’s existence are unfounded and have led to government funds being wasted on securing the area. Hundreds of tourists armed with metal detectors have travelled to lower Silesia to join the hunt for treasure, with police ramping up their presence to prevent accidents or local damage to the area.

According to local legend, Nazis drove an armoured train into a tunnel in a hillside by a medieval castle near Wabrzych during the dying embers of war in Europe as Soviet troops approached and the Allies bombed German cities.