Nazi treasure hunt called off after digs fail to find buried gold

Diggers at work at the site. Photo: Marcel Krijgsman ANP
Diggers at work at the site. Photo: Marcel Krijgsman ANP

The search for buried Nazi treasure near Ommeren in Gelderland has been called off following authorised digs in the last of the likely places around the Betuwe village.

A map, made public by the National Archive in January and purportedly showing where German soldiers buried four boxes filled with jewellery and other valuables, had started a digging frenzy in the Ommeren area.

To limit the number of treasure hunters, the local authorities had authorised a number of digs based on the interpretation of the map by local historians and the help of researchers from the VU university in Amsterdam.

An earlier search, in 1947, also came to nothing and it is thought the treasure, said to be worth millions, was dug up before the war ended.

Local historian Joke Honders said she had been prepared for disappointment. ‘We are turning it into a little booklet and that’s that,’ she told broadcaster NOS.

Honders said she can’t be sure the treasure is not in Ommeren. ‘Perhaps the soldier who did the drawing had a different spot in mind from how it ended up like on the map. And the question remains: where did it go?’ she said.

Buren council chief Pieter Neven said the final dig should put an end to the speculation as well as unwanted visitors.

‘The most likely places have been investigated and this is it,’ he told the broadcaster. ‘It has been no fun for the locals to have people digging great big holes on their properties. They were pretty fed up with it,’ he said.

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