Wartime diary of SS officer kept hidden for decades by secretive masonic lodge reveals ELEVEN locations of hidden treasure in Poland
The wartime diary of an SS officer which identifies eleven locations of WWII treasure hidden across Silesia in the last months of the war to hide it from the advancing Red Army has surfaced in Poland.
The hard-to-decipher, hand-written diary was penned by SS standartenführer Egon Ollenhauer, a key figure in events that are still shrouded in mystery.
As the Red Army started to bear down on ethnically German territory, Hitler’s SS undertook a large-scale operation involving around 260 trucks to hide Nazi gold, valuables held by the local population and treasures looted from throughout Nazi-German occupied Europe. Ollenhauer was the link between senior SS officers and local aristocrats who wanted help to protect their property from the Soviets.
The diary offers detailed lists of each of the eleven treasure caches. One is said to contain 28 tonnes of gold from the Breslau branch of the Reichsbank. Others contain gold coins, medals, jewellery and other valuables deposited by wealthy people in Wrocław to the local Nazi police for safekeeping.
The diary describes one cache as containing 47 works of art of international importance, believed to be stolen from collections in France, including works by Botticelli, Rubens, Cezanne, Carravagio, Monet, Dürer, Raffael and Rembrandt.
Yet another treasure stash is supposed to contain religious objects gathered by Himmler’s Ahnenerbe, which hoovered up sacral items from around the world in an attempt to find evidence for Hitler’s racial theories.
The diary is in the possession of the foundation Schlesische Brücke (Silesian Bridge), which was set up by a businessman, Darius Franz Dziewiatek, from the Silesian city of Opole. Dziewiatek says that he received the war diary from a 1,100-year-old Christian lodge from Quedlinburger, Germany.
Roman Furmaniak, who represents the foundation told TFN: “About ten years ago, after many discussions, the Quedlinburger lodge decided to hand the diary to the foundation.
“We are releasing information about the diary now as we wanted to wait until all persons who could be connected to the events and the diary had passed away, particularly officers of the Waffen SS. This was the wish of the Quedlinburger lodge.”
The foundation claims that the authenticity of the diary has been checked by five institutions in Germany, including the Department of Art History at the University of Göttingen, and these tests show that the diary is real.
In October last year, the foundation informed the Polish authorities of what they had.
Furmaniak said: “We wanted to release the information to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence and also the 1,100th anniversary of the establishment of the lodge in Quedlinburger.”
Now, the foundation says that it is working with the Polish government on verifying the authenticity of the diary by Polish institutions. After this has been done and if the correct permits can be obtained from the Polish authorities, the foundation wants to carry out the work at its own cost.
And if any of the treasures listed in the diary are ever unearthed? Furmaniak says, “It is the wish of the lodge that possessions found are reunited with their heirs if this is possible.
“However, this probably won’t be possible in every case. But it is our intention that the property is returned to its rightful owners.”
At the moment, the foundation is monitoring the places listed in the diary to make sure they remain secure.
Dziewiatek in a meeting with the Polish Ministry of Culture gave the exact location of five places in Lower Silesia. Polish media reports that one is a deep well in a palace park, another is at the bottom of a pond in another palace park. Other locations are a concrete sarcophagus under the bottom of a stream, an underground orangery in another palace park and a secret room between the walls in another palace.
Historian and local expert on Silesian wartime mysteries Joanna Lamparska retains a healthy scepticism about the revelations. She told TFN: “The diary is very interesting because it contains a lot of details about what was happening at the end of the war in Silesia, it also contains information about where they planned to hide things.
“But in my opinion, no treasure will be found using the diary. If these people really knew where the treasure was, they would not be acting in this way.”
She added: “The diary may be genuine, but a lot more work needs to be done.”