Treasure hunters digging for 10 tonnes of Nazi gold in the grounds of an 18th century Palace in Poland say they have been given permission to raise a buried canister which they think could contain the loot next month.
Led by a group called the Silesian Bridge Foundation, the dig in the village of Minkowskie has been concentrating on an old orangery in a small area of the 14-hectare palace park.
It is thought treasures, stolen on the orders of SS boss Heinrich Himmler to set up a Fourth Reich, are buried there.
In May this year, the group uncovered a 5ft metal canister buried 10ft below the surface.
Posting a video with English subtitles on YouTube on July 31, Roman Furmaniak, from the Silesian Bridge Foundation said: ‘We are excited to share with you the receiving of our latest permit required for the final excavation of the deposits.
‘Save the date – September 1st! Big Date for a Big Day! Things are moving, we would love to make it a sprint, as much as we can, but we do understand your impatience and we are doing our best with what we have!’
Thought to include the so-called ‘Gold of Breslau’ which went missing from police headquarters in what is now the nearby Polish city of Wroclaw, the canister is also thought to include jewellery and valuables from the private collections of wealthy Germans who lived in the region.
In order to protect their prized possessions from the advancing Red Army, the wealthy Germans handed their loot over to the SS.
Treasure hunters digging for Nazi gold say they have found a metal canister which could contain four tons of looted treasure. Pictured: A tube above ground shows the area where they say the canister is buried
A visualisation of what the Silesian Bridge foundation says the area may have looked like when the Nazis were burying the canister
The discovery was made using a geo radar search of an abandoned conservatory at an 18th century palace in the village of Minkowskie in southern Poland
The discovery was made using a geo radar search (pictured) of an abandoned conservatory at an 18th century palace in the village of Minkowskie
The dig which began in May last year at the palace which was used by Hitler’s SS as a brothel is hoped to uncover 10 tonnes of gold along with other valuables in the grounds
The treasure was stolen on the orders of SS boss Heinrich Himmler (pictured) towards the end of WWII to set up a Fourth Reich
The pencil-written pages of the diary (left) are said to identify 11 locations across Lower Silesia which before and during the war was German territory. Right: Roman Furmaniak, head of the Silesian Bridge foundation leading the hunt for the treasure, holding the diary
The dig is taking place in the grounds of the 18th century palace in the village of Minkowskie, Poland
The location was revealed by secret documents, an SS officer’s diary and a map that the treasure hunters received from the descendants of officers belonging to a secretive lodge dating back over 1,000 years.
The same diary, said to have been written by a high-ranking SS officer, is also said to reveal the location of another palace in the region where it is thought 28 tonnes of treasure is buried at the bottom of a well.
Among the bundle of documents is a letter from a senior SS officer called von Stein to one of the girls who worked at the palace in Minkowskie and who later became his lover.
The officer wrote: ‘My dear Inge, I will fufill my assignment, with God’s will. Some transports were successful. The remaining 48 heavy Reichsbank’s chests and all the family chests I hereby entrust to you.
‘Only you know where they are located. May God help you and help me, fulfil my assignment.’
The pencil-written pages of the diary are said to identify 11 locations across Lower Silesia which before and during the war was German territory.
An entry from March 12, 1945, referring to the treasure at the palace in Minkowskie says: ‘A trough has been dug in the orangery, which is a safe ”home” for the delivered chests and containers.’
It continues: ’48 chests from the Reichsbank, in good condition, were hidden, very well covered with earth and ”greened” with still living plants.
‘Let providence watch over us.’
Among the bundle of documents is a letter from a senior SS officer called von Stein to one of the girls who worked at the palace in Minkowskie and who later became his lover. The officer wrote: ‘My dear Inge, I will fufill my assignment, with God’s will. Some transports were successful. The remaining 48 heavy Reichsbank’s chests and all the family chests I hereby entrust to you. Only you know where they are located. May God help you and help me, fulfil my assignment’
Roman Furmaniak, from the Silesian Bridge Foundation which is leading the search, said that the Geo-radar readings from the latest search revealed ‘anomalies’
Furmaniak said the Foundation had been led to the site by one of the girls, Inga, who had worked at the palace
The location was revealed by secret documents, a diary (pictured) and a map that the treasure hunters received from the descendants of SS officers belonging to a secretive lodge worshipped by Himmler and dating back over 1,000 years
Speaking on the newly-released video, Furmaniak said they had now been given permission to raise the canister from the Opole Heritage Conservator.
He said: ‘The Foundation’s goal is to verify the stories contained in the diary, which we have been doing for many years already.’
He added: ‘The Foundation has finally received a PERMIT. Permit to carry out archaeological works and to check whether the deposits are still there.
‘This task awaits us in the near future.’
The palace in Minkowskie dates back to the 18th century when it was built by Prussian general Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz.
Over the years it changed hands several times and after the war the Red Army and the Polish Army were stationed there at different times.
Later it was used as a local council office, a kindergarten and even a cinema.
Now, in a dilapidated state and in private hands, the Silesian Bridge foundation has taken a long-term lease on the property.
Treasure hunters have started digging for 10 tonnes of Nazi gold at an 18th century palace in Minkowskie, southern Poland
In May, the treasure hunters began digging for 10 tonnes of Nazi gold at the palace, with the dig initially concentrating on an old orangery in a small area of the 14-hectare palace park.
A team of specialists carefully removed layers of earth by hand as it is also being treated as an archaeological site to uncover the foundations of the orangery.
The city of Breslau – modern day Wroclaw in Poland – was one of the wealthiest in Hitler’s Third Reich. But, the impending arrival of the Red Army meant that the Germans had to hide tonnes of gold and valuables.
These included bank deposits from the Reichsbank as well as private German banks, and civilian deposits as the population had been urged to deposit gold, money and jewellery.
According to legend, the treasure was collected in the building of the police headquarters and packed into crates.
It was then transported under an SS guard from Breslau towards what was then the town of Hirschberg, today’s Jelenia Góra in Poland, and then the Sudeten mountains.
But, soon after departing, the trail went dead and the gold has never been seen or heard of since. One of the theories is that it was stolen on Himmler’s orders to go towards the creation of a Fourth Reich.
Roman Furmaniak, head of the Silesian Bridge foundation leading the hunt for the treasure, told MailOnline: ‘Several people took part in hiding the deposits in Minkowskie. One of them was an officer called von Stein. He used to stay in the palace (an interior image, pictured) because he had a lover there. Due to its location it was often visited by high-ranking SS officers who treated it like a brothel’
The palace in Minkowskie (archive picture) dates back to the 18th century when it was built by Prussian general Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz
The lodge that handed over the documents takes its name from Quedlinburg, a small town in Saxony-Anhalt. Quedlinburg members were appointed to top positions in many Nazi-era institutions, most notably the fearsome Waffen SS. Among them was SS monster General Hans Kammler (pictured) who led work on the design of gas chambers and crematoria used in death camps
Inge was the guardian appointed by von Stein to keep an eye on the hiding place.
Furmaniak said: ‘She was in love with the handsome officer in a black SS uniform. They were like gods.
‘She believed that she would have to stay there for a year, maybe two, then it would all be over.
‘Nobody believed then that the region would come under the control of the Soviet Union.
‘There was a two-month period in 1945 when she had to hide in the forest from the Russians. But when she got back, the area had not been disturbed.
‘If they had dug a hole, they would have taken what they wanted and then left the hole. We have seen this in history many times in Poland.’
At the end of the war, the region was handed over to the new Soviet-controlled Poland, the entire German population was expelled and Poles who had been living in Western Ukraine arrived.
To blend in with the new population, Inge changed her appearance and identity – eventually marrying a local man – and continued to watch over the treasure until her death 60 years later.