• Germany's news in English

Treasure hunters halt search for Nazi loot

DPA/The Local · 29 Feb 2008, 12:40

Published: 29 Feb 2008 12:40 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Heinz-Peter Haustein, the mayor of the small village Deutschneudorf in the mountainous Erzgebirge region of eastern Saxony, is bowed but not broken. The amateur treasure hunter has conceded that the search for the Nazi loot allegedly buried nearby will be temporarily halted on Friday after a drilling team failed to find anything. “We’ve misjudged things a little bit,” he said late on Thursday after discussions with two geophysicists.

The scientists will now attempt to locate the treasure underneath the village using modern geological methods instead of continuing with the random drilling the team in Deutschneudorf had been using.

“If we continue on the way we were, it will take forever,” said Haustein.

“We’ve managed to drill three holes a day, but would need to make probably over a hundred.” After making one last drilling on Friday at the coordinates determined by his colleague Christian Hanisch, they will turn over the search to the scientists.

Hanisch helped spread a bad case of gold fever in the region three weeks ago after he announced he had found the location for an underground treasure depot in items from the estate of his father, who had been a radioman and navigator in the closing days of the Second World War who allegedly helped hide Nazi loot in the Erzgebirge region. The treasure hunters thought their special equipment had located some 1.9 tonnes of gold and diamonds, but the drilling has yet to turn up anything.

Story continues below…

“We have to calm things down a bit again,” said Haustein, explaining all the attention was starting to get out of hand and hobby treasure hunters were starting to turn up in the village. “I can’t allow this to all become too ridiculous.” The local police have even been forced to set up a mobile unit near the Czech border.

The treasure hunt has piquedd global media interest since Haustein believes the depot is the resting place of the famed Amber Room that was stolen from Russia by Nazi troops in 1941. The room was a gift from Prussian King Wilhelm I to Russian Czar Peter the Great. German forces dismantled the spectacular interior and carted it off to Königsberg, now Kaliningrad, where it was then disappeared.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd