Notes made by a Nazi Party officer suggest that hundreds of objects stolen during World War II are hidden in the Hochberg Palace, in Poland.
Imagine the following story: a Nazi Party commander is tasked with hiding hundreds of valuable objects and a billion-dollar amount in gold when the Red Army approaches Poland at the end of World War II. In order not to forget the location of the hiding places, the officer makes notes in a diary under the pseudonym of Michaelis.
Seventy-five years later, members of a Masonic society that has existed for more than a thousand years in Germany decide to hand the notebook over to historians. Experts, in turn, find evidence that the missing objects are hidden under a palace – and the treasure hunt begins.
This could be the synopsis of the next Indiana Jones film, but no: it seems that the story really happened and this “treasure” is hidden in Hochberg Palace, in southern Poland. The discovery was released by the local newspaper The First News and, according to the report, is being investigated by historians in the region.
For decades after the war, Michaelis’s diary was kept secret, hidden in the city of Quedlinburg, Germany, by members of a Masonic lodge. In 2019, the new members of the group decided to return the diary to Poland as “an apology for World War II,” the newspaper reported. The object was given to Roman Furmaniak, owner of the Silesian Bridge Foundation.
According to the experts, the notebook contains a description of 11 places where the Nazis hid looted gold, jewelry, works of art and religious objects. Along with the notes, there is also a map that indicates the location of a well on the grounds of the Hochberg Palace, built in the 16th century in the village of Roztoka, in southwest Poland.
The description of the well, located 60 meters deep, together with other documents from the time suggest that Michaelis’ reports are correct. According to the files, after the Nazis hid the wealth, they murdered witnesses, threw the bodies into the well and detonated explosives to seal the entrance to the chamber.
If all these details were not enough for a film script, perhaps this could inspire Steven Spielberg: Michaelis’s identity. The researchers found evidence that the author of the writings was none other than an officer who worked for Heinrich Himmler, one of the main leaders of the Nazi Party in Germany.
The boss of the “writer” was appointed by Adolf Hitler himself as commander of the Reserve Army and General Plenipotentiary of the administration of the Third Reich. In mid-1944, Himmler was reportedly tasked with hiding items obtained by the army during World War II – and one of those charged with the job was Michaelis.
It is estimated that the Nazis looted around 5 million European works of art that belonged to Jews, museums and private collections. Among the paintings lost at the time is Portrait of a Young Man, painted by the Italian Raphael during the Renaissance, in 1514.
The diary was analyzed more than once by Polish historians and, according to them, the notes were actually made during World War II. Still, the authenticity of the writings has not yet been confirmed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. As for the hidden objects in the Hochberg Palace, the building owners plan to renovate the building – and one of the restorers’ tasks will be to look for that “treasure”.