An old map has emerged, which is believed to indicate the way to the spot where treasure worth millions of euros was hidden by German soldiers during World War 2, following which several amateur treasure hunters have gathered, looking for the gold, in the Netherlands. The groups, carrying shovels and metal detectors, are seen wandering across the fields surrounding rural Ommeren, which lies in the country’s east after the Dutch National Archive made the map public on Tuesday.
The archive stated that the map is believed to be indicating the way to the location where four large boxes filled with gold, silvers, rubies, diamonds and pieces of jewellery, looted by Nazi soldiers were hidden after an explosion.
A German soldier handed over the map soon after the Netherlands got freedom from Nazi occupation in 1945. This week, the research file containing the map was released as the maximum years of holding it confidential, which is 75 years, had lapsed.
National Archive spokeswoman Anne-Marieke Samson, while speaking to Reuters, said that they could never completely confirm the treasure’s existence, however, various failed attempts were made by the institute to find it in 1947.
“We don’t know for sure if the treasure existed. But the institute did a lot of checks and found the story reliable,” said Samson said. “But they never found it and if it existed, the treasure might very well have been dug up already,” she added.
However, the amateur gold diggers are not deterred by the small chance of discovering the treasure.
Jan Henzen, aged 57, said, “I see groups of people with metal detectors everywhere.”
“Like a lot of people, the news about the treasure made me go look for myself. The chance of the treasure still being here after 70 years is very small I think, but I want to give it a try,” he added.
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Former Ommeren mayor Klaas Tammes, who is currently running the foundation which owns the land beneath which the treasure may be found, said that he has seen people from various countries coming here.
“A map with a row of three trees and a red cross marking a spot where a treasure should be hidden sparks the imagination. Anyone who finds anything will have to report it to us, so we’ll see. But I wouldn’t expect it to be easy,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)
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