Treasure hunters plan to excavate a palace in southern Poland used as a brothel by the Nazis during World War II after a treasure map they found in an S.S. officer’s diary indicated there were 10 tons of stolen gold hidden underneath the location.
The excavation, which begins next week, could uncover the so-called “Gold of Breslau,” which is believed to have been stolen on the orders of S.S. commander Heinrich Himmler and hidden on the grounds of the 18th century Hochberg Palace in the Polish village of Minkowskie, according to The Sun.
The treasure hunters also said they hope to uncover jewelry and other valuables from wealthy Germans in the region, who supposedly handed their possessions to high-ranking S.S. officers for protection against the Soviet Union during its invasion of occupied Poland at the end of World War II.
Hochberg Palace is located in the region of Lower Silesia, which gained notoriety after the war as a location where the Nazis kept stolen valuables from Polish Jews along with artworks and collectibles looted during the German occupation of Poland, according to the Polish foreign affairs ministry. (RELATED: 16th Century Bell Stolen By Nazis Set To Be Returned To Poland)
Roman Furmaniak, head of the Silesian Bridge foundation leading the treasure hunt, told the Daily Mail that the palace “was often visited by high-ranking S.S. officers who treated it like a brothel.”
A diary reportedly written by an S.S. officer under the pseudonym “Michaelis” outlined plans to hide valuables, artifacts and works of art stolen during Nazi Germany’s conquest of Europe, CBS News reported. The diary also contained a treasure map providing possible clues about the “Gold of Breslau” and its whereabouts.
Furmaniak said that his foundation received the diary and treasure map from the descendants of S.S. officers as a gesture of atonement for Poland’s suffering during the war, according to the Daily Mail.