Five entrances to a secret network of tunnels have been discovered in Poland at the site of the former headquarters of Nazi Germany’s Eastern Army. It is speculated that the underground corridors may lead to the lost Amber Room or other wartime treasures.
Five entrances were discovered in the forest in the northeast of the republic, near the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The undiscovered tunnel system is described by researchers as the largest discovery ever made in the forest and bunker complex of the Mamerki settlement museum.
Underground communications on an area of about 200 hectares were discovered by volunteers and employees of the World War II museum.
Employee Bartlomiej Plebanczyk said that “judging by the separation of the entrances, the tunnel is about 50 meters long, but it could be longer.
Some of the tunnels have been poured, most likely this was done deliberately to disguise the passages. Therefore, before researchers can see what is in the mysterious underground corridors, they will have the difficult task of clearing the passageways.
Plebanczyk suggested that interesting World War II artifacts could be found there that the Germans wanted to hide. “The tunnel is part of a previously unknown system of underground corridors that requires careful penetration. It may be the perfect place to hide the treasure,” he said, adding that the tunnels are scheduled to be explored in the second half of June.
Also, Plebanczyk noted, we cannot rule out the possibility that the corridors lead to the Amber Room, an 18th-century art masterpiece that was lost without a trace during World War II.
The Amber Room was created by German craftsmen for King Frederick I of Prussia and presented to Tsar Peter I of Russia in the 1700s. The room was decorated mainly with amber – the large cabinet consisted of amber panels studded with jewels, ornaments, mirrors and gold. It took 450 kilos of amber to create those panels. The room was stolen by the Nazis and mysteriously disappeared at the end of World War II.
The last time the Amber Room, taken by the Germans in September 1941 from the Catherine Palace, was seen was in Kaliningrad (Königsberg at the time). For certain reasons, the relic could not be evacuated before the Nazi troops occupied the outskirts of Leningrad.
There were many rumors about the possible whereabouts of the room: for example, it was reported that the Amber Room is hidden in a tunnel under the castle in the Polish town of Pasłęk and in the caves near Dresden.
In May this year, Polish experts will investigate the wreckage of the Karlsruhe steamship, which was believed to have been used to store the Amber Room during the last year of the war.