A trio of aging sleuths – homeopath Leonhard Blume, 73, scientist Günter Eckardt, 67, and georadar specialist Peter Lohr, 71 – are convinced the missing Amber Room of the Russian Tsars lies in the Prince’s Cave in the Hartenstein hills near Dresden.
Third Reich scientists used the cave complex during the war – but all records of just what went on there have mysteriously vanished from local archives.
But Lohr used radar imaging to detect underground booby traps and what appear to be bunkers under the soil. He scanned the hill in September after Lohr claimed a “reliable source” told him of the missing treasure’s whereabouts in 2001.
“The hideout is underground is above the railway line, where in April 1945 a train from Königsberg was stopped,” he said. Königsberg, now Kaliningrad belonging to Russia, was formerly the capital of East Prussia where the Amber Room was once stored.
We discovered on a tree traces where steel ropes were used to haul up crates
He also said he has evidence that treasure belonging to the last monarch of Imperial Germany – Kaiser Wilhelm II who went into exile in Holland in 1918 after his defeat in WW1 – is stored in the complex.
Eckardt said; “Eckardt: “We discovered on a tree traces where steel ropes were used to haul up crates. Georadar and dowsing measurements reveal a a system of secret tunnels beneath the cave system itself.”
Crafted entirely out of amber, gold and precious stones the Amber Room was a masterpiece of baroque art and widely regarded as the world’s most important art treasure.
When its 565 candles were lit it was said to glow a fiery gold. Its whereabouts have been a mystery since the dying days of the Second World War.
It was presented to Peter the Great in 1716 by the King of Prussia. Later, Catherine the Great commissioned a new generation of craftsmen to embellish the room and moved it from the Winter Palace in St Petersburg to her new summer abode in Tsarskoye Selo, outside the city.
“When the work was finished, in 1770, the room was dazzling,” wrote the art historians Konstantin Akinsha and Grigorii Kozlov. “It was illuminated by 565 candles whose light was reflected in the warm gold surface of the amber and sparkled in the mirrors, gilt, and mosaics.”
German troops who invaded the Soviet Union in July 1941 stole it and sent it back to the Reich.
After the war, the Amber Room became central Europe’s El Dorado, a quest that enthralled the wealthy and the poor alike. Maigret author Georges Simenon founded the Amber Room Club to track it down once and for all. Everyone had a different theory of what might have befallen the work.
The accepted theory is that it was destroyed by Russian artillery fire when the Red Army stormed Königsberg in 1945.
However, there are people who claim it was spirited away before the fall. Fourteen years ago a documentary aired in Germany concentrating on the actions of Albert Popp, a brigadier with the Nazi flying corps before the Second World War. He was the nephew of Martin Mutschmann, the Gauleiter of Saxony.
Based on archive material and interviews with bit players in the drama of the fall of Königsberg, the programme alleged the Amber Room was moved by Popp, on the orders of his uncle, to old mine workings and subterranean storerooms in Nordhausen.
Given that the bulk of the booty looted for Adolf Hitler’s planned museum of world culture in Linz was found in salt mines in Austria, the Nazis could well have transported the Amber Room 500 miles from Königsberg to a locale deep inside Germany.
Fundraising is now underway to permit a more detailed examination of the terrain beginning in the new year.
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