Hidden railway track and wagon wheels found at ‘Hitler bunker’ reignite hopes of Amber Room discovery
Are we a step closer to discovering the Amber Room in Hitler's former military command centre in northern Poland?
This is the question being asked by treasure hunters and WWII history buffs as museum staff from Mamerki revealed a tantalising image of a mysterious railway track and the wheels of a wagon that were discovered in a recent search at the site.
Posting a photo on social media, Bartlomiej Plebańczyk from the Mamerki museum said: "This is a huge surprise as we did not know that there was a railroad inside the complex.
"Could it be the Gold Train with the Amber Room? We'll find out soon enough....”
The find was made at the site of heavy concrete bunkers in the Warmia and Mazury province that was the headquarters of Hitler’s German Army Supreme Command, just a few kilometres from Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair bunker complex.
Recently, trees were cut down at the Mamerki complex, which spreads out over 200 hectares, allowing detectorists from the Jaćwież-Elk, Augustów Historical and Exploration Association to carry out a survey.
Karol Konratowski from the association found the tracks of the narrow-gauge railroad at a depth of about 1.5 metres in an area of flat open ground.
Plebańczyk told TFN: “The railway line and the wagon were covered up on purpose, but we have no idea who did, when they did it and why.”
The mysterious discovery of a Nazi-era German train buried at a major World War Two site has obviously raised memories of the famous Gold Train search near Wałbrzych in Lower Silesia in 2015.
While it was widely believed that the Wałbrzych Gold Train contained tonnes of gold from the Breslau branch of the Reichsbank, the speculation about the Mamerki train is that it may contain the famous Amber Room.
Known before its disappearance as the Eighth Wonder of the World, Mamerki has often been put forward as the site where it may have been hidden.
The piece of art was stolen by the Germans from the Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg during the war and the 450 kg of amber panels, gems, gold leaf and mirrors that made up the decorations, said to be worth as much as $500 million, were taken to the castle in Königsberg, today’s Kaliningrad.
Many theories about its fate have been put forward, including that it was destroyed when the castle in Königsberg was bombed by the RAF, or destroyed by Soviet shelling during the siege of the city.
The historical researchers who discovered the train last weekend were only able to literally scratch the surface as their search permit only allowed them to use shovels and not heavy digging equipment.
Plebańczyk said that getting the necessary sign-offs from forestry and conservation authorities may take a few weeks and only then will the full extent of the railroad and what’s on it be revealed.
He added that while it is known that a rail line ran from Mamerki to Hitler's Wolf's Lair nearby, so far there have not been any accounts or documents that a railway line existed inside the complex itself.
The discovery of the railroad and train is just the latest find at Mamerki. Utensils and objects of daily use are regularly found at the site.
Plebańczyk said that as soon as anyone turns of a metal detector it starts pinging as there is so much metal in the ground.
In May 2015, a secret network of tunnels was discovered, leading to similar speculation that they may contain the Amber Room.
Later excavations, however, revealed that the tunnels were empty.