Author Topic: RAF aerial photos from WW2 used to discover location of £500m Nazi gold bunker  (Read 2615 times)

Offline Tascio

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    Wartime photos used to pinpoint secret bunker location

    Luftwaffe bombed area to destroy evidence at the end of the war

    Human remains, believed to those of slave labourers who built it, discovered 

Historians using RAF surveillance photos shot by Mosquito fighter-bombers over Germany during WW2 believe they are poised to uncover a mammoth bunker containing the secret gold reserves of the Third Reich.

After using photos and eyewitness reports from the time to pinpoint the spot, a dig is due to start next month in the Leinawald forest near Leipzig in the hope it will uncover the lost underground complex.

Rumours of the colossal subterranean installation have fuelled a treasure hunt mania in the forest over recent years.

Nazi archives show that battalions of Organisation Todt - the Third Reich's main labour organisation - were shipped into the Leinawald in 1944 on the orders of Hitler's armaments minister Albert Speer.

At the weekend human remains were found in the forest; believed to be those of slave labourers forced to assist the Nazis in building the secret bunker.

And Luftwaffe records from 1945 show that a bombing raid by warplanes was ordered on the site in April 1945 - one month from the end of the war - despite the fact that hardly any German planes were able to fly because of total Allied air supremacy.

One photo that excites local historian Hilmar Prosche shows sand workings in August 1944 that resemble the outline of a human skull.

He believes the skull points the way to the bunkerentrancde and the Reichsbank gold worth over 500 million pounds on today's markets.

He said: 'They obviously thought it was worth the risk to put aircraft into the sky to drop bombs to try to obliterate surface traces of what had been constructed here.'

In 1961 the German government dug in the forest looking for the missing gold which was trucked out of Berlin as the capital disintegrated in April and May 1945 under the onslaught of the Red Army.

It was abruptly halted when poison gases from old mine workings began seeping to the surface.

Nothing was found, but back then the West German administration did not have access to the RAF reconnaissance photographs which were still classified.

Another historian involved in the planned dig said: 'We have Nazi labour battalions digging in the forest assisted by slaves, British warplanes taking photos of the workings, our own side bombing it - and a report from Berlin of trucks leaving the Reichsbank and headed towards Leipzig under S.S. guard.

'The fact that the government back in 1961 thought it worth digging here makes us certain that the gold is here.'

In 1996 former U.S. soldier Norman Scott searched in the forest for the gold; he was in Nazi Germany at war's end and claimed a dying S.S. man had told him the Reichsbank gold was buried in the area. He too failed to find the bunker.

Should it exist, the booty would certainly be vast. During World War II German troops looted the bank reserves of conquered countries and took the gold back to Germany.

Victims of the holocaust were also stripped of any valuables they had, including gold jewellery. The gold from these sources was then melted down and cast into bars with the mark of the German central bank, the Reichsbank, imprinted on them.

Much of this loot was used to pay for the war effort, but a large portion was still intact and in Nazi hands as the end of the war neared.

By April of 1945 the Allies were closing in on the German capital and Nazi officials decided to move the remaining contents of the Reichsbank, ostensibly to Oberbayern in southern Bavaria.

It never reached there - but Prosche and his backers believe it lies deep beneath the earth of the Leinawald.

General Patton's third army discovered 100 tons of Nazi gold as well as stolen art and other treasures hidden in a salt mine near mockers, southwest of Gotha in 1945.

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« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 03:55:48 PM by Tascio »