X does not mark the Nazi treasure spot at Ommeren

Rural Ommeren. Photo: Fred Mobach via Wikimedia Commons
Rural Ommeren. Photo: Fred Mobach via Wikimedia Commons

Dozens of people have been trying their luck over the weekend searching for Nazi treasure that may lie buried at Ommeren, according to a recently published map.

Police had to warn off treasure hunters busy exploring probable locations, including on private land, but did not issue any fines.

The Betuwe village has a rule against metal detecting because of the presence of unexploded World War II bombs and land mines. Ommeren is near to the allied frontline during Operation Market Garden.

Treasure hunters got their shovels and metal detectors out when the Dutch national archives declassified a map showing the spot where, according to the testimony of a  German soldier in 1947, three of his fellow soldiers buried four boxes containing valuable jewellery and coins from a bomb-hit safe at a bank in Arnhem.

Subsequent searches, including near ‘the third poplar tree on the right next to a sandy path’, which is marked on the map, were fruitless and the matter was officially declared ‘dealt with’ and the map filed.

The efforts of this weekend’s digs – one private land owner found a man up to his chest in a hole – also went unrewarded. The treasure may not be there at all and the whole story made up, experts have said, or suggest it was dug up earlier.

Buren local council said it is studying measures to discourage treasure hunters from coming to the area.

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