Historian May Have Found Long-Lost Russian Treasure


A historian reportedly believes he may have discovered the location of the long-lost Amber Room, a Russian treasure looted by the Nazis during the Second World War.

On April 22, Bartlomiej Plebanczyk, a Polish historian and museum curator, said he believes the 300-year-old chamber is hidden in the back of a German wartime bunker in northeastern Poland, The Telegraph reports.

The bunker is located in the woods near the village of Mamerki in the country's Masurian Lake District, which contains one of the most well-preserved complexes of Nazi bunkers and barracks in Europe. 

Plebanczyk, who is the head of the Mamerki Museum, reportedly discovered the location of the room using ground-penetrating radar, according to The Express. He said he is waiting for permission from local conservation officials to drill into the bunker and lower a video camera into the structure in order to observe its contents.

The Amber Room, which is considered the "eighth wonder of the world," was originally constructed in the 18th century and located in Catherine's Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia. The original chamber measured about 2-by-3 meters, and is decorated in amber and gold panels.

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The treasure was seized by Nazi troops in 1941 and taken to Konigsberg, Germany, which is now the Russian city of Kaliningrad. The chamber disappeared after the World War II.

Although an official Soviet investigation concluded that the treasure was destroyed in the British and Russian attacks on Konigsberg during the war, many historians believe it may have been moved to a different location and survived the war. 

Certain pieces of anecdotal evidence seem to support Plebanczyk's belief that the chamber is hidden in the Mamerki bunker, which is located about 60 miles from Kaliningrad.

The historian said a local resident witnessed German trucks bringing heavy cases to the bunker at the end of the war, according to The Telegraph. Other residents claimed to have seen Erich Koch, an infamous Nazi war criminal and senior official in Konigsberg at the time of the Amber Room's disappearance, visiting the site in the 1960s.

The original chamber, which would be worth about $506 million if found, has since been recreated at the Zarkosje Selo Palace in St. Petersburg. 

Sources: The Telegraph, The Express / Photo Credit: EPA/Tomasz Waszczuk via The Telegraph, CENS via The Telegraph

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