A Nazi train loaded with gold, gems and valuable art that reportedly disappeared at the end of the second World War has been found in Poland, according to two men.
Marika Tokarska, an official in the city of Walbrzych, where the train was allegedly found, said authorities received letters from a law firm representing the men, a Pole and a German who are remaining anonymous, saying they are seeking a 10 per cent reward for revealing its location.
Ms Tokarska said authorities are taking the claim seriously and have convened a meeting of firefighters, police and other authorities to explore how they can safely handle the train if it is located. She said it could be protected by explosives.
The train is reputed to have vanished in the dying days of the war as the Germans fled advancing Soviet forces.
Historians say the existence of the train has never been conclusively proven, but authorities are not passing up the chance at possibly recovering treasures that have sparked the imaginations of local people for decades.
Ms Tokarska said that hiring a law firm gives credibility to the two men’s claims, as do indications that they are familiar with the train’s contents.
She said that not only could it be armed with explosives, but methane gas underground could add to the risk of an explosion, adding: “It could be dangerous.”
The train is said to have gone missing in May 1945. Legend says it was armed and loaded with treasure and disappeared after entering a complex of tunnels under the Owl Mountains, a secret project known as “Riese” – or Giant – which the Nazis never finished.
At the time the area belonged to Germany but it now lies in Poland.