Polish official 99 percent sure Nazi train exists
Poland's deputy culture minister on Friday said he was 99 percent sure of the existence of the alleged Nazi train that has set off a gold rush in the country.
Local media have for days been abuzz with old lore of trains full of gold and jewels stolen by the Nazis after two men -- a German and a Pole -- claimed to have found an armoured train car in the southwestern city of Walbrzych.
"I'm more than 99 percent sure such a train exists, but the nature of its contents is unverifiable at the moment," Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski told reporters.
Zuchowski, who is also the national heritage conservation officer, said he saw "a good-quality ground-penetrating radar image" showing the armoured train carriage over 100 metres (330 feet) in length.
"My understanding is that no one has accessed (the train) since the (Second World) war," Zuchowski said, while refusing to reveal its exact location.
Someone who took part in hiding the train decades ago passed along the information by word of mouth, Zuchowski said but did not specify to whom.
"And this person shared the information on their death bed along with a sketch of where it could be found," he said without revealing the person's identity.
Zuchowski confirmed that the two men, who wish to remain anonymous, have the right to claim a finder's fee of 10 percent of the value of the contents of the train.
"The fact that this train is armoured suggests that there could be valuable objects inside" including artwork, archival documents or treasures, he said.
But he warned that the train could also be booby-trapped.
Rumours of two special Nazi trains that disappeared in the spring of 1945 have been circulating for years, capturing the imagination of countless treasure-hunters.
The lore has its basis in the existence of secret underground passages near Walbrzych -- including around the massive Ksiaz Castle -- that Nazi Germany ordered built and where legend has it the Third Reich stashed valuables.
© 2015 AFP