For more than 70 years, treasure hunters have flocked to a quiet corner of southwestern Poland in search of a legendary cache of Nazi loot. Deep inside the Owl Mountains, the Third Reich dug a vast network of mineshafts and tunnels between 1943 and 1945 (called the Riese Project), perhaps to hide a secret weapons program, or to carve out an impenetrable subterranean bunker for Hitler’s last stand.
Whatever the Nazis had planned for their extensive underground complex — dug by forced labor from nearby concentration camps — the Soviets spoiled it. In 1945, with the Red Army at the doorstep, the Nazis fled their Owl Mountains refuge, blasting most of their tunnels to rubble behind them.
But according to legend, a Nazi freight train loaded with pillaged artwork, jewels and untold bars of gold bullion still rests somewhere beneath that rubble. Stories tell of a German miner who saw the Nazis pack up their “gold train” and park it inside the Owl Mountains, from which it never emerged.
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