A diary that was in the possession of a secret society for decades after the end of World War II may contain a map detailing the location of more than 30 tons (28 metric tons) of gold that was hidden by the Nazis.
Written 75 years ago by a Waffen Schutzstaffel (S.S.) officer using the pseudonym “Michaelis,” this journal outlined Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler’s plans to hide stolen European riches, artifacts and priceless works of art, according to Polish news site The First News (TFN).
The diary listed 11 sites where Nazis concealed looted gold, jewels, priceless paintings and religious objects. One location that it names is an abandoned well that extends nearly 200 feet (60 meters) underground, beneath the 16th-century Hochberg Palace in the village of Roztoka, in southwestern Poland. The gold at the bottom of the well is thought to have come from the Reichsbank in the Polish town of Breslau (now Wrocław) and is estimated to be worth billions of euros, TFN reported on May 26.
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For decades after the war, the “Michaelis” diary was kept secret, hidden away in the town of Quedlinburg, Germany. It was in the possession of a Masonic lodge that has existed as a secret society for more than 1,000 years and counted elite Nazi officers among its members during the time of the Third Reich. One member, allegedly, was “Michaelis,” who controlled Nazi transport in southwestern Poland, TFN reported. Lodge members in later years included descendants of Nazi officers, according to TFN.
But in 2019, the lodge gave the diary to a Polish foundation named Silesian Bridge. The foundation announced in March of last year that it had received the journal from its German “partners” — the lodge members in Quedlinburg — who gifted the journal to the people of Polan