(JTA) — The Polish governor of the province in which a fabled Nazi train loaded with stolen treasures reportedly has been located tried to lower expectations of the discovery.
Tomasz Smolarz, the provincial governor of Lower Silesia, in southwest Poland, said at a news conference Monday in Worclaw that new evidence about the train’s location and its contents “are not any stronger than similar claims made in past decades.”
Smolarz also said that the alleged location of the train car’s discovery has been sealed off in the wake of a surge of treasure hunters and curiosity seekers to the area, Polish Radio reported.
On Friday, Polish Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski said at a news conference that he has seen a ground-penetrating radar image indicating that the train, which two unidentified individuals claimed to locate earlier this month, likely exists. Zuchowski said he was “more than 99 percent certain that this train exists,” The Associated Press reported.
The train is believed to be one that reportedly disappeared in 1945 loaded with gold, gems, art and guns bound for Berlin — one of several trains the Nazis used in an attempt to save their war plunder from the advancing Allies. According to local lore, the train vanished after entering a network of tunnels under the Owl Mountains.
The two men, one German and one Polish, approached government officials in Poland’s southwestern district of Walbrzych earlier this month claiming to have found the train and demanding a 10 percent finder’s fee.
Zuchowski said the two men learned of the location from a dying individual who had been involved in transporting the train in 1945.