Florian Bautsch, an amateur archaeologist in Germany, has found a collection of gold coins that were buried during the Nazi era or shortly after World War II, with the haul being worth around €45,000.
Bautsch was working on behalf of archaeologist Prof. Dr. Edgar Ring. He was using a metal detector on what was thought to be a grave site, when he discovered a gold coin. After a further search, he uncovered nine more. He then conducted a quick survey of the area, then informed Dr. Ring and then District archaeologist Dr. Jan Joost Assendorp.
According to the German newspaper LZ play, it had taken two weeks to find the last 207 gold coins. It is also believed that the coins were sealed in two money sacks that were then wrapped in tar paper. They were then placed at the base of a tree, which had fallen over time. Over the decades, another tree had grown. It is believed that the roots of this new tree had torn the bags and scattered the coins.
Two aluminum seals with a Reich eagle and swastika embossed with ‘Reichsbank Berlin 244’ were also found.
“This was all found under a pine tree that is around 50 years old… and that must have grown afterwards… so we know it must have been buried in the last days of the war, or shortly afterwards,” Mario Pahlow, a local archaeologist, told Reuters.
The coins were made up of: 127 Belgian, 74 French, 12 Italian, and 3 Austro-Hungarian coins. The oldest coin was minted in 1831, with the youngest bearing the year 1910. The total weight of all the coins was almost 1.4 kilograms. Using the current value of gold, the coins would be currently be worth around €45,000 in metal value alone.
Amateur archaeologist discovers buried Nazi gold:
With the bank’s seals being found, archaeologists have speculated that the coins being were probably stolen. Although legal adviser of the State Office Heritage Institute, Arnd Hue neke said to LZ Play that initial inquiries have shown no evidence of a criminal offence, meaning that there was no bank robbery.
But that didn’t stop Edgar Ring from telling Reuters that the culprit was probably an insider.
“It was either someone who worked at the Reichsbank and had access, which means it could have only been someone who was there in an official role, or somebody who took advantage of the situation when the coins were being transported,” he said.
The exact location of the find has not been divulged out of concern that illegal treasure hunters will start their own search. The only thing they have said is that the coins were found on the Foundation Hospital grounds in Lüneburg. Now, Lüneburg will be known for the largest Reichsbank gold treasure from the Nazi era to be found in northern Germany.
The find was exhibited temporarily in the Lüneburg Museum, and has caused considerable excitement among experts, according to Edgar Ring. Mayor Eduard Kolle, who is also Chairman of Foundation Hospital, said he would find out whether as landowners he could make a claim on the coins so he could make a free permanent exhibition of the coin hoard in Lüneburg, which is the least he hopes for Lüneburg. He said: “Gold wakes up desires—then and now!”