World War II is known as the largest war in history, incurring 40,000 to 50,000 deaths making it the bloodiest conflict among countries. It was also when the Nazi government came into power and persecuted jews in the European continent.
The diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl, is one of the most widely read accounts of the Holocaust published by her father in 1947, a few years after the war ended. It described their struggles while in hiding for two years before being captured in 1944.
Now 75 years later, another diary has come into surface detailing the locations of the treasures that the Nazis looted during the Second World War. It was in possession of a secret society for decades that contained a map of the location of more than 30 tons of gold.
The diary was written by Waffen Schutzstaffel (S.S.) officer using the pseudonym "Michaelis." According to the Polish news site The First News (TFN), the journal outlined the Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler's plans to hide the stolen European riches, artifacts, and priceless artworks.
Where is the Treasure Located?
The journal listed 11 sites where Nazis hid the looted gold, jewels, priceless artworks, and religious objects. Among the locations listed, it named an abandoned well that extends 200 feet underground, beneath the 16th century Hochberg Palace in Roztoka, Poland.
According to TFN, the gold at the bottom of the well is thought to have come from Reichsbank in Breslau, a Polish town now called Wroclaw and is estimated to be worth billions of euros.
The Michaelis journal has been kept secret for decades, hidden away in the town of Quedlinburg, in Germany. The Masonic lodge has existed as a secret society for more than 1,000 years and counted elite Nazi officers as one of its members during the Third Reich.
Among its members, Michaelis, who controlled Nazi transport in southwestern Poland, was thought to be a member. TFN reported that lodge members in the later years included Nazi descendants, but they gave the diary to a Polish foundation named Silesian Bridge in 2019. Giving them the journal serves as "an apology for World War II," the news outlet reported.
Moreover, the journal contains a map pinpointing the well's location on the Hochberg Palace grounds where the Nazis once hid it. History also suggests that after the Nazis hid their ill-gotten riches, they murdered witnesses, dumped the bodies in the well, and detonated the place to conceal the entrance, Roman Furmaniak representative of Silesian Bridge, told TFN.
Plenty of Hiding Places
Experts have confirmed that the diary was indeed written during World War II, its authenticity has yet to be confirmed. However, given the fact that Lower Silesia is known as a location for Nazis to conceal their goods and artifacts stolen from wealthy Jews, the diary might hold some truth in it.
Lower Silesia is riddled with caves, mines, and tunnels, "as well as castles and palaces with cavernous dungeons," Nazis have plenty of space to hide very large artworks.
Nazis plundered an estimated 5 million European artworks. In one site alone, a salt mine complex in Altaussee, Austria, thousands of stolen paintings, illustrations, rare books, statues, and tapestries was found.
According to ABC News, a cache of explosives was meant to destroy the mine complex, but it was never detonated. As for the gold under the well in Hochberg Palace, the owners plan to refurbish and restore the building and start a search for the long-buried well.