In Brief

Has the mystery Nazi gold train been found in Poland?

Officials have confirmed that a train 'of a military nature' has been discovered, but historians are sceptical

A legendary, long-lost train filled with Nazi treasure which disappeared during the final days of the Second World War may have been discovered in a tunnel in the Polish mountains.

Last week, two men came forward to say they had found an armoured train near the southern city of Walbrzych that matches the local folklore. And in a new twist, local Polish officials confirmed that a train "of a military nature" had been discovered, but did not elaborate further.

The mystery train, which is believed to have been filled with gold, guns and treasures looted by the Nazis from Eastern European Jews, reportedly went missing near the-then German city of Bresla in 1945. As the Soviet Red Army forces approached the area, the train entered a tunnel near Ksiaz castle and never came out again, locals say.

"The city is full of mysterious stories because of its history," said Walbrzych's Deputy Mayor, Zygmunt Nowaczyk. "Now it is formal information - [we] have found something."  

Local authorities say they were contacted last week by lawyers representing a Pole and a German who were seeking a ten per cent cut of the haul, which they can claim under Polish law.

"This is a find of world significance, on a par with [discovering] the Titanic," Jaroslaw Chmielewski, the attorney representing the two men, told Radio Wroclaw.

Polish media report that the train is in a secret tunnel just north of the city, adjacent to a railway line which is still in use, and the area has been cordoned off.

A senior official in Poland's culture ministry has called on treasure hunters looking for the ghost train to stop, as it could be carrying dangerous weapons and the surrounding area could be mined, says The Telegraph's Matthew Day. 

But historians say it's all just wishful thinking. "[They point] out that there has never been any evidence found in the Nazis' usually detailed documentation of operations to give credence to the myth," says the Los Angeles Times.

Local historian Joanna Lamparska agrees, arguing that there is no evidence the train ever existed. "A handful of people have already looked for the train, but nothing was ever found," she told local radio. "But the legend has captured imaginations."

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