Hiding place for WWII treasure found in forests near crumbling mansion
An emptied WWII treasure cache has been discovered in Komorów, Lower Silesia.
Discovered by a forester, the cache which is thought to have contained a dozen kilograms of priceless silver, jewellery, cold weapons, paintings, and china, had already been looted, but many others may still lay hidden in Lower Silesia.
Łukasz Kazek, a journalist and history buff from Wałbrzych who runs the YouTube channel History Hiking presented the looted cache in a new video after being contacted by the forester who found it in forests close to the Schloss Cammerau estate in the Owl Mountains which once belonged to the von Keyserlingk family.
Kazek said: “The hiding place was so well made that despite 75 years passing since the end of World War II probably no Polish people noticed it.”
The last German owners of the mansion abandoned it in February 1945, escaping from the Red Army advance. They left 470 hectares of land, 110 of which were located in the Owl Mountains, and an enormous estate of two residential outhouses, a stable for horses, a livestock buildings, a granary, three barns, and finally the manor house built in 1800.
Fearing for their lives, the family packed all their belongings in trunks and barrels and concealed it deep in the forest in an especially prepared hideout. The Germans believed that they would return to the area and regain their possessions.
Kazek said: “In a hole in the ground, there were specially moulded walls with wooden beams. Above the hole, there were planks covered with bitumen, that are still lying around. In the middle there were trunks, barrels with silverware with porcelain.
“This cache was prepared perfectly. Water didn’t get inside at all.”
The YouTuber admitted it was the biggest cache he came across during the past 15 years of his research. It is hardly surprising, considered the size of the estate which was manned by forced labourers during the war.
What now remains, is a dilapidated place with glimpses of its magnificent past from 75 years ago.
For anyone walking past the cache, it would look like an ordinary pile of stones, taken from fields and pastures. It is thought that the descendants of the owners had a map drawn by their grandparents and knew exactly where to look.
It wouldn’t be the first case of its kind in Lower Silesia. The region had over 2,000 palaces and residences abandoned by Germans during and after the war. Many of them were burnt by Soviet soldiers, or even the escaping Germans, others were dismantled by Poles for building materials or left unattended to be destroyed.
Kazek wrote on Facebook: “There were hundreds of owners of Lower Silesian manors in the same situation. However, each of them believed they would come back, hence all valuables were hidden - ancestral silver, china, jewellery - and waited for their return, which as we know never happened.
“We also know that the descendants: grandchildren, children, cousins armed with maps with boxes marked on them come to their grandparents' former territories and empty the boxes prepared in the 1940s.”
One such situation took place four years ago in Lubomierz. Two men from Hamburg was looking for their family’s valuables equipped with their grandfather’s map from 1952.
The locals alerted the police after the Germans asked to borrow a shovel. In accordance with Polish law, police confiscated the treasure.
Now the content of two jars, gold watches, jewellry, German and Russian coins, can be viewed in the Lubomierz museum.