Men claim to find Nazi train loaded with treasure in Poland

“Men claim to find Nazi train loaded with treasure in Poland”

via “Yahoo News

Men claim to find Nazi train loaded with treasure in Poland

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — According to Polish lore, a Nazi train loaded with gold, artworks and weapons vanished into a mountain at the end of World War II, as the Germans fled the Soviet advance. Now two men claim they know the location of the mystery train and are demanding 10 percent of its value in exchange for revealing its location.

Historians say the existence of the train has never been conclusively proven, but authorities are not passing up this chance at possibly recovering treasures that locals and the government have sought for 70 years.

“We believe that a train has been found. We are taking this information seriously,” Marika Tokarska, an official in the southwestern Polish district of Walbrzych, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

She said her office received two letters this month from a law firm representing the men, a Pole and a German who have chosen to remain anonymous, saying they are seeking 10 percent of the value of the train’s contents for revealing its location. The documents from the lawyers say the train is 150-meters (490-feet) long and loaded with guns, valuables and precious metals, but do not specify where it is. Authorities say they are willing to pay the reward if the information pans out.

A lawyer for the men, Jaroslaw Chmielewski, compared the find to the “wreck of the Titanic” in an interview on a local radio station.

Tokarska said that hiring a law firm gives a degree of credibility to the two men’s claims, as do indications that they are familiar with the train’s contents. But there are also reasons for caution: The first letter included some references to the area’s topography that indicated they might not know the area very well.

Joanna Lamparska, an author who has written about the train and the region’s history, says she believes it could be a scam. . . . .


Tug-of-War Erupts Over Planned Return of Jewish Archives to Iraq

“Tug-of-War Erupts Over Planned Return of Jewish Archives to Iraq”

by Sylvia Westall and Jonathan Saul via “Reuters

“Jewish books and documents found by U.S. soldiers in the flooded headquarters of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and sent to the United States for restoration have touched off a dispute between Baghdad and Iraqi Jews who fled the country.

After a $3 million restoration, the collection has been put on display at the Washington-based National Archives. But bowing to demands from Iraq’s  . . . “



“Berlin Museum Seeks Return of Ancient Gold Tablet”

“Berlin Museum Seeks Return of Ancient Gold Tablet”

by Michael Virtanen via Associated Press

“A Holocaust survivor’s family urged New York’s highest court Tuesday to let them keep an ancient gold tablet that their late father somehow obtained in Germany after World War II. 

Attorney Steven Schlesinger argued that the estate of Riven Flamenbaum has a legal claim, whether the native of Poland bought the relic from a Russian soldier or simply took it to compensate for losing his family at Auschwitz, the concentration camp where he spent several years. . . “ Read rest of article here .

Cultured Muse’s Input

The interesting part of this case is the legal element.  The concept of repatriation has been cause for much debate in the art world, particularly in regards to cultural resources taken in times of war.  The current world conflicts have only added to the anxiety of the issue, and this case regarding an WWII dispute may actually have bearing on cases dealing with items looted in war-torn countries today.  

Note that the Holocaust survivor’s attorney is arguing that the laws of war as in place at the time of the war should be applied to the case raised today.  Many cultural resource attorneys/parties have argued that rather the modern laws protecting cultural resources should be applied retroactively (i.e. to situations that happened before the law was enacted) because we are currently more interested in (more…)