60 years later
THE SEARCH FOR NAZI TREASURES II. Proposal for an Exploration Project and TV Documentary Series
c 2005 Jaro Sveceny V Podbabe 29a 160 00 Prague 6 Czech Republic firstname.lastname@example.org
At the center of this mix of history, Hollywood and high adventure is the TV producer himself. It is somehow fitting that a veteran of totalitarian control, California glitz and Czech bureaucracy should take on the search for Europeâ€™s stolen treasures. Although he has chosen to work without outside funding until all of his research is assembled, Svecen has persevered in his efforts to document the hunt for Nazi treasures and has become a sort of "secrets" clearinghouse for information seekers worldwide. His professionalism and dedication have earned him the trust and confidence of everyone from ex-KGB agents to Holocaust survivors.
II. LIST OF CONTENTS
16 TVORSOVICE CASTLE, March 27, 1997, Czech Republic
CHLUM HILL, September 27, 1997, Czech Republic
TESTAMENT January 8, 1998, Brno, Czech Republic
LOST COFFINS II., February 25, 1998, Zakupy, Czech Republic
AMBER ROOM, April 7, 1998, St. Catherine, Czech Republic
MESSERSCHMITT UNDERGROUND PLANT, May 2001, Horni Kvilda, Czech Republic
FRENCH IMPRESSIONISTIC PAINTINGS, March 2001, Constantia, Rumania
NAZI GENERAL TURNED COMMUNIST SPY, September 2001, Prague, Czech Republic
MEDALLION, August 2001, Stechovice, Czech Republic
LOVE LETTERS ON THE BUTTONS, August 2001, Prague, Czech Republic
CHURCH IN BRENNA, November 2001, Brenna, Czech Republic
BUNKER, March 2002, Stechovice, Czech Republic
GOETHE S FAUST - CLUE TO STECHOVICE MYSTERY, January 2002, Stechovice, Czech Republic
B-17, August 2002, Split, Croatia
LAST VOYAGE OF WILHELM GUSTLOFF, September 5-15, 2002, Baltic Sea, Poland
16 Tvorsovice Castle
March 27, 1997, Czech Republic
A Frenchman, former inmate of the Tvorsovice concentration camp described how he took part in unloading German military trucks during two nights of April 1945 in the castle courtyard. Other prisoners carried the cargo packed in boxes in the direction of a garden wall. A massive, 5-meter high and 80 meter long structure was built in the last century. Its’ heavy rocks protect the garden from the sliding hillside on the other side. Muzik’s expedition team, acting on the information, inspected the wall for a possible entryway. A shallow space was detected at the wall’s distant end. Muzik took the section apart and discovered a 1,5 meter high, man-made tunnel ending after 30 meters in a small cave. Old avalanches of dirt and rocks seal off three other tunnels, originating from the cave. Further progress and excavation work is planned later this year.
17 Chlum Hill
September 27, 1997, Czech Republic
Following in the footsteps of the 1965 Czech police expedition, Muzikâ€™s team started excavating an entryway into a German-constructed, four-level-deep shaft, located on steep slopes of Chlumec Hill - not far away from Konopiste Castle. The expedition faced the daunting technical feat of having to pump out thousands of cubic meters of water the Germans used to cut off all access and insure privacy.
January 8, 1998, Brno, Czech Republic
The twenty-page long, hand-written ’Last Will and Testament’ of Leopold Von Wittrich, a successful businessman and entrepreneur in Brno before WWII., was brought to me by a 65-year old man. He said that the aged, yellowish papers fell off the back of a painting he accidentally dropped on the floor. The document executed in 1944, and listing at least 80 prime real estate properties in Brno, Vienna, Berlin and Prague (apartment buildings, factories, private villas and country homes), established my visitor, Mr. Wittrich, Jr. the sole heir to a truly amazing fortune. The Oxford-educated Prague attorney and former Minister of Justice, Mr. A. C. pointed out the will’s crucial problem - the deadline for restitution of claims on properties confiscated by the former communist government, passed just a year earlier. But going down the list of individual items, he stopped at a short paragraph written by Von Wittrich on the flip side: "All of our family’s jewels, officially estimated at 9 million US dollars are concealed in a wooden crate, placed in a distance of 2 meters from our villa’s front door, 1,5 meter deep." The next day, accompanied by my Toronto geologist friend and armed with a camera and portable radar, we arrived in front of Von Wittrich’s villa in Brno. A police officer was guarding the gate which bore a distinct insignia of the ’Russian Consulate.’ As we learned later, the property rights were transferred in 1950 to the Soviet government and the villa, large garden and the buried Von Wittrich‘s family jewels became the sole possession of Putin s Russia.
19 Lost Coffins II.
February 25, 1998, Zakupy, Czech Republic
Making ready for an upcoming expedition to the southern part of the Czech Republic, we visited one more time the village of Zakupy to test the new radar and sonar equipment in familiar surroundings. We also wanted to check the validity of our psychicâ€™s claim that underground the church were catacombs and graves of the Franciscan Order. Thanks to our detectors, within a couple of hours, we found the entryway and descended into a labyrinth of narrow corridors with small burial enclaves on both sides. They were flooded with crystal-clear water, allowing full view of disintegrated coffins half-sunken in the mud; human bones and skeletons, but also glittering gold rings, chains and beaded rosaries.
20 The Amber Room
April 7, 1998, St. Catherine, Czech Republic
The masterpiece of baroque art, the 11-foot-square reception hall, paneled with amber and mosaics of precious stones is one of Russiaâ€™s greatest missing national treasures. Prussian King Frederick Wilhelm I presented it to Tsar Peter the Great in 1716 as a symbol of friendship. Catherine the Great later had it moved from the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to her summer palace in Tsarskoye Selo.The entire room, comprised of twenty-two mosaic panels of carved flowers, monograms, rocaille and scroll work - all rendered from pure fossilized amber, was in 1941 disassembled and packed by Hitlerâ€™s troops into 27 crates and moved to Konigsberg in East Prussia. But when Russian forces retook the city in 1945, the Amber Room had vanished--not to be seen again. Theories about its disappearance have percolated endlessly--and inspired countless treasure hunts. Some historians think it burned in air raids; others believe it was sunk at sea during shipment to Berlin. The SS officer Erich Koch, in charge of the transport, died at the age of ninety in a Polish prison without ever revealing his secret. In April 1998, Stechovice treasure-hunter Helmut Gaensel, acting upon a new piece of evidence started a geological survey of an old mining shaft at St. Catherine Mountain near the Czech-German border.
21 Messerschmitt Underground Plant May 2001, Horni Kvilda, Czech Republic
The Ministry of Environment issued an excavation permit to a small private expedition in the National Park Reserve near the German border in Sumava mountains. The explorers action was triggered by the information provided by a German journalist whose father, a former Nazi officer, headed an international POW camp in this area in 1944 -1945. The explorers managed to discover a shaft apparently providing ventilation for a large underground space, suspected to be used before the war s end as a Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighter planes assembly line. Late in the war, Messerschmitt also worked on a heavy "Amerikabomber" design, the Me 264, which flew in prototype form but was too late to see combat. According to an old area resident, the rumors circulated in Sumava after WWII that fifty fully operational jet engines were also buried there by escaping Nazis. Biological and chemical samples taken from a creek near the shaft revealed unusually high content of silver raising a question about what else the underground space may be hiding. The explorers built a parallel tunnel some 10 meters away from the original one, trying to connect the two and gain an access to the space. A nearby two-story building, now a modest pension, may have been used as an administrative building for the operation, judging from the German army paraphenalia discovered in the attick.
22 French Impressionist Paintings March 2001, Constantia, Rumania
In March 1943, the German Gestapo arrested in a small Serbian village Varvarin a 40-year old Jewish Yugoslavian art collector Erich Schlomowitch. Before WWII Schlomowitch spent several years in Paris and with the help from a world-renowned art dealer Pierre Vollard had managed to acquire more than 600 French impressionistic paintings. Before escaping from Paris in 1940, he had managed to ship the bulk of his collection, some 400 paintings, to Beograd. Later that year, his unparalleled assortment of French modern masters went briefly on display in Zagreb. As the German Army advanced into Yugoslavia in 1941, Schlomowitch along with his father and brother found refuge in Varvarin that was controlled by the members of the Yugoslavian underground. This is where the Schlomowitchs were captured, eventually vanishing in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The art collection almost intact, resurfaced under mysterious circumstances in Beograd in 1947. By a decision of the Tito s Supreme Court, the collection minus approx. thirty missing pieces was transferred to the permanent custody of the Yugoslavian National Art Gallery. It is believed that the missing paintings were either stolen by the Nazis at the time of Schlomowitchâ€™s arrest in Varvarin or by the communist security forces after WWII. In March 2001, a remarkable story somewhat coinciding with Schlomowitchâ€™s fate had been told to me by a respected Rumanian businessman. It involved a Jewish family forced to leave fascist Rumania at the war s outbreak and seek refuge in Serbian part of Yugoslavia. On the way back to their home in Constantia on the Black Sea after WWII, the family ran near the border into an abandoned German military truck filled with antiques. They grabbed several paintings eventually successfuly reaching their home on the Black Sea. Supposedly unaware of the value of their find, they nevertheless buried the objects in their garden s wine cellar when the communist regime was installed couple years later. After Cauceascu s fall, the family s mattriarch decided that the time arrived to dig out their loot in the garden. The businessman, was invited for a preview.
23 Nazi General Turned Communist Spy September 2001, Prague, Czech Republic
Czech lawmakers have been hard pressed to pass a new law that would allow public access to classified intelligence files of the communist era. This in the aftermath of a recent disclosure that the top-ranking Nazi General Rudolph Toussaint, who surrendered to the American Army in May 1945 and was handed to the Czechoslovakian government for a war crimes related trial in 1947, was instead recruited as a spy. Following his unexpected release to West Germany in 1962, Toussaint had worked in several high posts in West German government while passing information to the Eastern Bloc. Of the millions of German soldiers taken prisoner by the Soviets during World War 2 -- one "official" press release from TASS cited 3,180,000, another gave six million which may be closer but probably included a great number rounded up after the May 1945 surrender whose actual military status was, somewhat subjective in nature -- by 1950 the vast majority were either released or had died in captivity. Officially, only some twelve thousand or so remained in Soviet hands -- however, thousands of German prisoners of war were released by the Soviet Union in the early fifties (nearly ten thousand in 1953 alone), and another ten thousand following Adenauerâ€™s famous Moscow visit in 1955, after which the Soviet government claimed to still have only a few thousand more being held as war criminals.
24 Swiss Bank Accounts
August 2001, Stechovice, Czech Republic
A wartime love affair between a German officer and a Czech woman ended with the officerâ€™s escape across the Soviet lines in 1945. In the attic of his loverâ€™s house, the officer left a leather briefcase containing several military maps of Stechovice and environs as well as a two-inch large commemorative medallion bearing Jewish symbols. It had been proudly worn for several years on a chain as a necklace by the Stechovice treasure hunter Josef Muzik. When he eventually had the medallion closely inspected by a Prague crime lab, a microscope study revealed code names and two separate bank account numbers of the Helvetica Bank in Bern, Switzerland on its parameter.
25 Love Letters on the Buttons August 2001, Prague, Czech Republic
Mr. Milan Konecny then aged 81, survived three years in Oranienburg-Schwarzheide, one of the most notorious Nazi concentration camps. Due to an acute case of tuberculosis, he was kept unattended in an ’infection yard’ where he passed long days of uncertainty playing with a handmade deck of cards. He and his friends used wooden and plastic buttons smuggled from the camp’s tailor shop to wager with. He carried his collection of 50 buttons in a small box all through a forced death march at the end of the war. In 2000, he decided to donate his precious collection to the Theresienstadt Jewish Museum. Before the buttons went on display, a museum employee discovered barely noticeable writing on the back. Closer inspection revealed a series of miniature letters by a Mr. Vlastimil who was arrested by the Nazis sometime in 1944. It appears that during his interrogation in the Prague SS headquarters, Mr. Vlastimil was granted occasional visits by his fiancee. The shirt to which the buttons were attached was carried by her out of the prison before being returned back to Mr. Vlastimil. A brief chronology of events, leading to Mr. Vlastimil’s transport to a concentration camp, was pieced together by the Museum. The name of a German secret police informant who turned Mr. Vlastimil in is scribbled clockwise on one of the buttons. We may never find out however, how the buttons eventually made it to the Orangeburg tailor shop. Several announcements and calls for those who may know the answer broadcasted on the Czech Radio has proven fruitless so far.
26 Church in Brenna November 2001, Brenna, Czech Republic
Returning home to a small village of Brenna in north Bohemia after World War II, Mr. Jan Jizersky, now 71, found the small idyllic place of his youth deserted. In an act of revenge, all of the original inhabitants who were ethnic Germans, were forcibly removed in 1946 to the war ravaged land of their ancestors. Father Richter, the old Catholic priest in Brenna’s 13th century church was the only one left. He described to Mr. Jizersky how two German army trucks and about fifteen soldiers arrived in Brenna one evening in March 1945. They ordered the priest and the villagers to stay in their homes. Father Richter watched from his presbytery, as the trucks were being unloaded and large wooden boxes were carried inside the church. When several days later the ’visitors’ departed, the priest noticed that several floor tiles at the church opposite ends had been tampered with and scratched. He suspected that the soldiers might have hidden their cargo under the floor. In 1948, communist authorities closed the church, leaving the historical landmark to its own destiny. The process of slow deterioration has continued ever since. Only a richly decorated alter and a few wooden benches have escaped looters and ravages of time. Although in 1990 the property was returned back to the Catholic church, little has changed. But when the Litomerice diocese’s archivist confirmed that he was able to trace the Brenna priest’s report on the German army ’visit’ in the archive, the Archbishop granted us a permission to inspect the church floor. We scanned both areas pointed out by the priest with radar. While the search in the sanctuary turned out negative, we were more successful in the area near the entrance at the opposite end. Two meters deep we came across a thick layer of concrete. A special excavation permit allowing continuation of the project will be issued in 2005.
27 The Bunker March 2002, Stechovice, Czech Republic
When the interrogations of Klein intensified in the early 60’s, special significance was assigned to his hand-drawn map that supposedly indicated several Nazi bunkers. In 1962, Jiri Barak, the then Minister of Interior, ordered an extensive search in the fields above Hradistko, near Stechovice, applying Klein’s geometric map from a key point suggested by Klein himself. Although neither the map nor its application yielded any results, a year later the Interior Ministry, acting on a tip by a cottage owner in the area, found a 1 x 1m entrance to a well-built underground space. It’s floor was neatly tiled with an engraved marble slab bearing the name Thinn, who was the chief engineer at the SS training grounds of Stechovice, and the name of the German battalion Quelle, stationed there from 1943. When Barak’s people tried to make their way through a corridor connecting the small space with yet another underground room, a couple of the agents passed out - overwhelmed by gas fumes. After the mission was reported to the Communist Party chief and Czechoslovak President Antonin Novotny, the mission was unexpectedly aborted. Novotny was often suspected of being a Nazi collaborator and might have feared the discovery of certain documents implicating him as such. In 2001 Josef Muzik secured appropriate permits to reopen the search pending an approval by the Defense Ministry.
28 Goethe's "Faust" - Clue to Stechovice Mystery? January 2002, Stechovice, Czech Republic
Recent access to the interrogation records of Stechovice SS-commander Emil Klein which had been compiled by Czech agents between 1946-64 revealed potential fresh leads in the search for Nazi documents and art treasures. An officer in charge of the case noted in the early 60’s that Klein had recited on several occasions excerpts from Goethe’s "Faust." Close analysis of the specific
passages brought interesting results. For example, one of Goethe’s protagonists bears a name identical with that of Klein’s former deputy Colonel Frosch. In the chapter named "The Witch’s Kitchen," the Witch takes Faust through the intricacies of the witch’s multiplication table by playing with numerical values from which a numerology expert was able to derive the figure 398.2. We were astonished to discover that this number corresponds exactly with the altitude of the spot on the Mednik hill where a German-built shaft had been discovered. However, Goethe’s masterpiece did
not impress communist agents, who saw Klein’s dramatic exclamations more as a sign of progressing insanity and recommended his release to Germany. A report filed by them in the spring of 1963, describes one of their numerous outing with Klein in Stechovice. The former SS officer led his captors to a hilltop clearing and showed them what looked like the first meaningful piece of information they had gotten from Klein thus far - a camouflaged airshaft filled with huge rocks. Klein hinted that this might be the way to get to a network of tunnels hiding some of the Nazi loot. Fifteen draftees were immediately dispatched to the spot and started a strenuous, two-month-long work of clearing the passage. A former member of this task force recently described that when heavy rains filled the shaft overnight with six meters of clay, the soldiers, facing weeks of hard labor, decided to quit. They reported that the search hadn’t brought the expected results and received their superior’s blessing to halt the operation. In the fall of 2001 our expedition drilled a 20 cm wide exploratory well near the rediscovered shaft. At 32 meters depth a video camera recorded a large meeting point of three tunnels. One of them, reinforced with a timber frame, ran on a slight decline directly toward the lake. Above the ground, the hillside as far as we could see was covered with bushes except for a tall single spruce towering majestically halfway down the hill. We could not escape eerie feeling when we recalled Goethe’s verses, recited by Klein and diligently recorded by his interrogators in the 1963 report, "...a giant spruce uprooted by a storm opens a safe passage to a cave..." (Mephisto’s dialogue with Faust "Forrest and Cave", page 136)
On one of our first visits to the area in 1996, we met an elderly woman who lived in a cottage across the lake during the war. She claimed to have seen concentration camp inmates drilling a tunnel at the foot of the hill in the summer of 1944. Heavily armed German soldiers kept watch around the clock from a guardhouse built adjacent to the excavation site. She said that her girlfriend, who had dated the SS officer Padoch, once described to her an unusual weekend boat ride. After rowing her around the lake, Padoch eventually anchored the boat at the tunnelâ€™s mouth and the woman got a full view of antique art objects stacked inside. Later that year when the construction of the Stechovice dam was almost finished, German soldiers sealed the tunnel off with a concrete wall. Soon afterwards, the water level rose by 15 meters and flooded the site. ln January 2002, encouraged by the detection of three tunnels at the hilltop, we decided to scuba-dive in the lake and seek a possible connection with the tunnel entrance as described by the old woman. We chose to start the search at a spot situated by extending a direct line between the airshaft and the spruce. Carved symbols of the German unit operating in Stechovice in 1944 were found on a tree nearby. In subzero temperatures, three search and rescue divers (who took part in discovery of the sunken passenger ship Estonia in the Baltic Sea) located in murky water what might be the SS guardhouse foundation. Only a few meters away in a deep gorge, the divers spotted the arched outline of what we believe is the tunnelâ€™s entrance. The rest was covered with tons of loose rocks after the cliff, still bearing signs of an explosion, was blown up to conceal the location. Logistics of entering the tunnel from land are now being worked out with mining engineers and military experts.
29 B-17 August 2002, Split, Croatia
On November4, 1944 an U.S. Air Force B-17 bomber returning from its first mission against the German defenses near Maribor, Yugoslavia was hit by enemy fire off the Yugoslav coast. It made a successful sea landing near the Island of Split. A local fisherman rescued the 11-member crew before the plane sank almost two hours later. More than 55 years later the almost intact craft - still sitting on its landing gear on the sea bottom 40 meters down was discovered by Slovak divers. The U.S. Air Force records revealed that the craft left Lincoln, Nebraska on October 3, 1944. On October 6 it took off from Grenier Field in Manchester, New Hampshire for Italy via New Foundland, the Azores and Africa. Some of the crew members are still alive.
30 The Faithful Voyage of Wilhelm Gustloff September 5-15, 2002, Baltic Sea, Poland
A Czech and Slovak scuba diving team spent nine days by examining the shipwreck of the German ocean liner "Wilhelm Gustloff" resting 50 meters deep near Slupska Sandbank in the Baltic Sea, approx. 60 km off the Polish shore. Built in 1937, it sailed for nearly two years on pleasure cruises in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean and North Sea. Shortly after the beginning of WWII., it was commissioned to the German Navy as a hospital ship. After a brief deployment in Norway in 1940 "Gustloff" set off for Stettin carrying the injured from Germany’s Norwegian campaign. There it ended its service as a hospital ship and was directed to Gdynia in the Bay of Danzig. For the next four years, it was used as a barracks ship for the Navy’s U - boat arm. At the time "Wilhelm Gustloff" was sank on January 31, 1945 by the Russian submarine S-13 it carried on board 10,582 refugees, soldiers, sailors and a crew - including scores of sick and injured, as well as women, children and the elderly. They were trying to escape from the city of Gdynia which came within a shooting range of the Red Army. Only 250 survived, marking the loss the largest maritime disaster in a history. In 1992, after inspection proved the presence of human remains at the wreck site Germany intervened on behalf of victims’ relatives and asked the Polish government to ban any attempts to lift the wreck or its fragments and grant the location a legal status of a mass grave. The Polish Main Marine Office honored the request. Our team was granted a special permit to document the place of the disaster. What made this opportunity especially intriguing was a claim by one of "Gustloff’s" survivors, the first naval officer Heinz Schon. In his book "SOS Wilhelm Gustloff" Schon claims that the ill-fated ship carried on board one of the most precious European art treasures - the "Amber Room". A relatively short distance between the place of its last sighting - the city of Konigsberg and the "Gustloff’s" home port of Gdynia made Schon’s claim plausible. After a six-hour journey, our expedition consisting of eight veteran deep-sea divers arrived at the wreck site. A stormy weather prevented us from bringing to the sea bottom a large set of lights which was needed to film the ship in its entirety. As a result, the video footage recorded by our four cameras shows only close-ups and mid-shots of"Gustloff’s" individual sections. We found no human corpses or body parts at the wreck site. Soviet Navy military divers who visited the site shortly after WWII., blew huge holes into the "Gustloff’s" steel body trying to access the cargo section and search it for valuables. Now, only the front and the back of the once majestic ocean liner remain intact. The upper deck railing covered with blue shells, the rescue boats’ holding poles, a part of the machine room and a giant mast are the only reminder of the "Gustloff’s" glory days...
32 The Survey of Suspected Tunnel Sites Stechovice, April 23-May 1, 2004
Jeffrey E. Patterson of San Diego, CA, a geological engineer and a Ph.D. candidate in Geophysics visited upon J. Sveceny’s invitation Stechovice to conduct a survey that would determine if current technical capabilities of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) could adequately measure existence of three suspected Nazi era tunnels. Previous surveys using less sophisticated versions of GPR and Electromagnetic (EM) devices indicated that GPR would be successful for the intended purpose.The equipment used during Patterson’s survey consisted of the Geophysical Survey Systems’ (GSSI) SIR-II digital GPR and a GSS 300MHz (central frequency) broadband shielded antenna. Scans of a known test line were comparable with previously measured scans. Site 1 - Collapsed Shaft in Forest The first scan site consisted of a forested area near the shaft that emerged after record-breaking flooding in summer 2002. The geology consisted of approximately 6 meters of saturated sandy loam soil profile overlying an intensely folded and faulted limestone formation of approximately Permian age. The vegetation consisted of dense pine trees. All scans were conducted along existing unpaved roadways to determine a direction of the tunnel originating at the shaft’s bottom, 9 meter deep. No discernible geologic or man-made structures were apparent on the scans due to the high moisture content of the sandy soil. The watertable appeared at about 5 meters. Obtaining GPR data in this type of geologic strata proved practically impossible. Note: The shaft was discovered by a Stechovice forester when a large section of soil dropped by 50 em, exposing its square-shaped mouth. 9-meters deep, the explorers reached its floor and found a partially collapsed tunnel entrance. Fear of possible booby traps blocking the entry may force them to opt for a safer but costly alternative - to construct a new access to the tunnel in some distance from the existing shaft. Site 2 - Marble Desk Tunnel and Field The second scan area was a plowed agricultural field adjacent to a narrow vegetated ravine containing a small one-story house with a garden, located at the ravine’s upper part. Physical features observed in the plowed field included a 1 meter diameter reinforced concrete storm drain manhole with 75 centimeter diameter reinforced concrete inlet and outlet pipes running roughly east I west; a rectangular (1m x 2m) concrete manhole containing a 25 cm cast iron water main running roughly east I west about 20 meters south of the storm drain line and an interrupted 15 cm cast iron water pipe running roughly north I south; and an unpaved two track access road running roughly east I west. No attempt was made to find the final outlet of the storm drain pipe. The scans were made along the track of the unpaved access road. The GPR was setup approximately in line with the suggested extension of the assumed tunnel scan. Each GPR scanline was approximately 55 m in length. Anomaly 1 is of the Iron Pipe variety, a short, ringing, hyperbola. Anomaly 2 is of the Tunnel Roof variety and was investigated further. Subsequent scans in both directions, in the other track, and along a chain link fence closer to the garden produced similar shaped anomalies. This anomaly is important because it starts below and cuts the watertable, indicating a man-made structure. Although one would expect an equally shaped hyperbola response from a uniformly shaped tunnel; this one-sided arc is most probably due to a change in topography along the route of scan, as the roadway dips 1 meter over the length of the are, or due to a slanted tunnel roof as observed in other existing storage tunnels in the village of Hradistko, or both. To verify the nature of these anomalies, a Hilbert Transform was applied to the scan. This transform provides a depiction of the instantaneous phase and frequency changes, (Figures 3 and 4, File 64P and File 64F, 4/10/99 - Note: The clock on the processing software was set for pre-2000 due to program Y2K limitations). Knowledge of these changes provides a clearer image of the anomalous feature. In this case, Anomaly 1, an iron pipe, shows clear 90 degree phase and frequency changes at about 2m. The frequency change
is consistent with a water filled iron pipe. Anomaly 2, the suspected tunnel, shows a clear phase shift starting at about 6 m and arching upwards along a linear path of about 3 m to an apparent depth of 3.5 m. The frequency shift is consistent with an air filled void starting at about 5 m and arching upwards along a linear path of about 2 m to an apparent depth of 4 m. The differences in these depths and lengths is due to the "look-ahead /Iook behind" radiation pattern of the transmitting and receiving antennas. The phase shift is much more noticeable than the frequency change. These changes support the interpretation of an air filled tunnel about 2 m wide at a nominal depth of 4.5 m. Note: The house and the garden were searched by communist agents in the mid-50’s. The captured Stechovice SS commander Emil Klein then claimed that approx. 9-meter long tunnel runs from the ravine outward into the field. According to Klein, it housed 30 crates of gold, jewelry and important technical data from the German weapon research. Although the agents eventually discovered a small bunker with a marble name plaque of the SS officer Thinn attached to its wall, the tunnel has never been found. Site 3 - Mednik Hill North The next area to be scanned was a suspected concrete bunker along a paved road in the forested area of Mednik Hill. Figures 5,6, and 7 (Files 5, 18, and 22 - 4/25/04) provide interpreted images of this suspected bunker. Figure 5 (File 5 - 4/25/04) is of a scan along the edge of a north / south paved road. A metal rain gutter at the right edge of the figure provides a marker for the position of the central subhorizontal anomaly at about 2.7m that runs for about 2 m. This anomaly also shows a disturbance above this level consistent with typical earth moving operations. Figure 6 (File 18 - 4/25/04) is of a scan about 10 m east of the paved road and shows this same subhorizontal anomaly at about 3.7 m also running for about 2 m. This depth is consistent with a topographic increase in the scan line of about 1 m. The quality of the data is decreased due to this increase in depth. Figure 7 (File 22 - 4/25/04) is a scan about 10 m further east in the same north / south orientation. This scan shows an anomaly between 1 and 2 m for a lineal distance of 10m. The high energy return of this anomaly is consistent with a water filled space, such as one would find at the top of a concrete filled void. The interpreted total shape of these anomalous areas is consistent with an entrance-way at the edge of the road expanding to a circular bunker with a nominal diameter of 5 m. No anomaly was observed in the north/south scans on the far (west) track of the paved road nor on an east/west scan south of suspected bunker. Note: A clandestine operation took place in Mednik Hill in fall 1989. The exclusive communist weapon exporter ’OMNIPOL’ joined forces here with the international insurance giant FUJIYAMA and under a veil of top secrecy, they conducted in the quiet, uninhibited area extensive excavation for almost two months. Since little has been known about the purpose or the outcome of this venture, halted shortly after the fall of communism in November 1989. Klein’s interrogation records serve as the only possible hint for this unusual alliance. There, the SS officer who masterminded construction of the entire Stechovice underground, refers to Mednik Hill as the location holding all answers to what was hidden in this region by the Nazis. The current Patterson’s survey was conducted in a distance of approx. 5 meters from a large crater, filled by the explorers with tons of concrete upon expedition’s abrupt ending. SITE 4 - Mednik North - POW Camp The last area scanned was a hillside south of a known POW Camp in the region of Mednik North. The leveled area is quite obvious, as is a waste rock dump on the northeast edge of the leveled turn-around. Figure 9 (File 35 - 4/26/04) is of a scan of a linear anomalous zone about 2 m wide and 30 m long ending in an outcrop with vertical faces similar to what one would expect at the top lenten of a tunnel entrance. The anomalous zone has all the features of a typical tunnel or a sheared geologic zone in the rock mass. The following day (4/27/04) this potential entrance was excavated to a depth of 1 m with no positive results. It was decided to bring in mechanical
equipment to further investigate this anomaly. Note: The French POWs spent in Mednik North the entire spring 1944 by blasting a leveled area for trucksâ€™ to turn around. They built also a storage tunnel in the hillside. CONCLUSION J. Patterson suggested that future surveys include lower frequency GPR (35 to 70 MHz), Proton Magnetometry (PM), EM, Transient Electromagnetic (TEM), or Induced Polarization (IP). Tunnel location methods are actively being researched by the United States Departments of Energy (DOE) and Homeland Security (DHS). Pattersonâ€™s company, Geophysical Survey Systems (GSSI) has several proposals for this work being currently evaluated. Hopefully the results of this research can be applied to future surveys.
33 The Convoy from Kaliningrad 1997-, Bremen,Germany/Poland
In 1997, the German police in Bremen arrested a man selling a gold-framed mosaic of marble and semi-precious stones depicting two couples lounging in a garden with their dogs. The asking price was US 2, 5 million. Art experts concluded that the 50x70 cm large piece was one of the four panels symbolizing human senses, once a part of the legendary Amber Room. Dismantled and taken away from the palace in Tsarskoje Selo near St. Petersburg by the German army in 1941, it vanished without trace.
Peter Schultheiss, the Potsdam police chief posing as a prospective buyer was first given a videotape of the mosaic and later samples of the wooden frame and resin that used to hold the tiles. Two months passed and the meeting to physically examine the mosaic was held above a shop in Bremen, with the police stationed outside. The arrested seller was a Bremen attorney Manhard Kaiser who claimed that he acted on behalf of his client whom he refused to identify. He told the investigators that the mosaic’s original holder, a Wehrmacht driver got it in 1941 when German military vehicles carrying a looted art from Russia came under Red Army fire near Kalliningrad and a few objects fell off. After WWII, it hung for years over a sofa in his apartment. After the man’s death in 1978, his son stored the mosaic in the basement. After seeing a TV documentary on the Amber Room, he realized its value and decided to sell it. The hopes that this find may lead to a discovery of the Amber Room did not materialize. In May 2000, in a gesture of reconciliation the mosaic was returned to Russia. The issue of trophy art has been a sore point in German-Russian relations since the end of WWII. Both sides looted museums, libraries, castles and churches as their troops advanced, and the Amber Room stood always high on Russia’s list of 40,000 art objects it wants back from Germany. In spring 2002, an elderly woman helped by her son and followed by a big beastly looking dog, walked into a hotel lobby in Koln drawing immediate attention. They were met there by two waiting men. The younger one, a manager of a Swiss bank in Bern introduced his companion, a mustached man in his fifties. Josef Muzik, gained international media attention due to his search for Nazi archives and war loot in Czech Republic. He was invited to this meeting to provide a professional expertise. A few months earlier the mother and her son asked the bank in Bern for a large loan. They offered an old German military map as a collateral. It was a part of a small inheritance left by her late husband. At the end of WWII, he was assigned to a guard unit accompanying a convoy of six trucks transporting war loot from Russia to an unspecified destination in Germany. The convoy originated in Kaliningrad and drove for a couple of days on the highway to Bydgosz. It ended its journey eighty miles further to the west at the German defense line built to stop Russian advance to the very heart of Hitler’s Reich. The line stretched for a couple hundred miles from the Baltic shore in a southward direction. The cargo was supposedly unloaded into a large bunker serving as a command post. Notes by the woman’s husband contained detail instruction on establishing the bunker’s e x a c t location. In 2003, a small exploratory team visited Poland to set up logistics for a September expedition. Driving through a vast uninhibited area and using the old German military map to guide them, the group lead by the Czech treasure hunter managed to locate a kidney-shaped lake, vital to determine the position of the bunker. At first sight, nothing around showed signs of the former German defenses. About eight-meter-high platform, marked on the military map as Grunberg was missing on any of the
current German or Polish maps of the area. It was rising from miles of a flat uninhibited landscape. In a short distance, a nature park ranger had renovated an old farmhouse and turned it into a comfortable dwelling. He was dividing his time between an upkeep of several small lakes and putting finishing-touches on his house. He pointed out to the explorers several camouflaged concrete bunkers overgrown by a bush and a dried out well sitting at the top of the platform. In the German guard’s notes, what looked like a well was airshaft for the bunker hidden deep underneath. The ranger, in his twenty fourth year of service seemed to know little about the area’s WWII history and volunteered to get for the expedition permits allowing to engage in exploratory work. Upon the group’s return to Prague, preparations for the expedition started immediately. Then the Swiss banker called in with surprising news. Both of his clients and our key witnesses in the case, the guard’s wife and her son suddenly died only two months apart. The elderly woman died after a short illness while her son perished in a car accident soon after. The bank withdrew its support for the project and the expedition was postponed indefinitely.
Recovery in New York regarding possible agreement between the painting’s holder and the Hatvany’s heirs. The heirs were willing to pay to Mr. Krutek EUR300,000 as remuneration or "compensation" for his help in the painting recovery. But, Mr. Krutek kept making unreasonable requests and with the help of Mr. Bills, the "Nude in White Stockings" was successively offered to galleries all around the world. Mr. Krutek asked all or nothing. Few months later, the painting’s actual holders were identified - two brothers inherited the Courbet’s painting from their father who treated Red Army soldiers in 1945. They chose a local free-wheeling art trader to sell the painting for them. Speaking no English and clearly out of his league, Mr. Krutek nevertheless has managed to hold much stronger opposition at bay for several years. He has threatened the legal counsel of the Hatvany’s heirs several times that he will destroy the painting, unless they accede to his requests. At first sight, the theft made 60 years ago may seem to be trivial. However, a theft of a painting during the Holocaust era had been and still is a crime. The Slovak Republic, with the accession to the EU, assumed, inter alia, an obligation to take without any delay any steps necessary for proper and just settlement of relationships in case there is an owner or heirs of property which was confiscated by Nazis during the war. Given the customary procedures and standards in the acquisition of similar works of art in the world and clear facts of the case "Nude in White Stockings", no one may, except for lawful heirs of the baron Ferenc Hatvany, make an affidavit that the painting is in his ownership. Under Article I of the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity signed on 26 November 1968 in New York, a party to which is also the Slovak Republic, no statutory limitation apply to war crimes and crimes against humanity, as defined in the Nuremberg Charter, irrespective of the date of their commission. In a civilized country, these are sufficient grounds for an active interest from the side of the relevant bodies. Therefore in May 2004, The Commission for Art Recovery initiated an action for the suspicion of committing a war crime, receiving of stolen property, efforts for illegal sale, threats to destroy property of another. In spite of that, in March, 2005, four years after the re-emergence of Gustave Courbet’s painting, an unlikely player still seems to be controlling the situation. Mr. Krutek, who several months ago fired his own lawyer, now refuses to communicate even with the American art expert who presented his case to The Commission for Art Recovery (CAR) and succeeded in negotiating the reward amount up by 100%. Krutek has been so far avoiding a face to face meeting with the Commission’s lawyer to arrange for the exchange. But with INTERPOL, FBI and The Art Loss Register closely monitoring the situation from the sidelines, it seems to be only a question of time before the Courbet’s nude see the sunlight again after 60 years.
36 NSDAP Membership Archive June 17, 2005, Brenna, Czech Republic
Our second visit to the St. John the Baptist’s church in Brenna, originally planned for spring 2002 had to be postponed indefinitely. Decades of neglect caused its centuries old roof to cave in leaving the floor buried under tons of rubble. The Institute of Preservation which has done little to save the church from a slow deterioration, suddenly became overzealous about safety hazard and made the prospect of concluding our search for the Nazi cargo even more complicated. The forced break offered us an opportunity to explore wooded hills surrounding the village. During WWII they became a site of strange mystical rites by members of SS . During one such outing, we came across a two meter large swastika sculpted into a rock. A large man-made clearing in front of it, was shaped in a semi-circle allowing the Nazis to perform rituals of the ancient Aryan god-men who were above any morality and therefore justified in their cruel deeds. On June 17th 2005, I received an unexpected call from a new owner of the Brenna rectory sold by the Litomerice diocese to raise money for the church restoration. During an inspection of the two-story building, the owner noticed a patched up wall section in the ground floor hallway. Since it appeared like a sealed entry into a basement he invited me to examine it. A few hours after my arrival to Brenna, we managed to jackhammer a hole through a thin partition and crawled into an enclosed space, separated from the rest of the basement. Sitting on the floor were five inconspicuously looking greyish paper boxes, each tied up with a piece of rope. Printed and handwritten documents inside revealed that we stumbled over the NSDAP’s (Hitler’s outlawed Nazi Party) membership archive once belonging to the organization’s Sudetenland(Czechoslovakia’s border areas annexed by Hitler in 1938) branch. About eight hundred personal files, all surprisingly well preserved and intact, identified NSDAP members in the northern industrial city of Liberec which in 1938 became the Nazi Party’s Sudetenland headquarters. It was then headed by Hitler’s fanatical supporter Konrad Henlein who masterminded his 1938 annexation. Each member file consisted of the following records: GENEALOGICAL TREE/AHNENTAFEL, CRIMINAL RECORDS/AUSZUG AUS DEM STRAFREGISTER, VOLUNTEER WORK FOR THE PARTY /TATIGKEITSLIFTE, BOOK OF CONDUCT/ BEGUTACHTUNGSBOGEN, FAMILY HISTORY/STAMMBUCH, OATH OF ALLIANCE TO HITLER/VERPFLICHTUNG and TWO PHOTOGRAPHS The NSDAP was the main political force in Nazi Germany from the fall of the Weimar Republic in 1933 until the end of World War II in 1945 when it was declared illegal and its leaders were arrested and convicted of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials. In March 1945, Liberec also became the command center for the "WERWOLF" organization, formed hastily in the vanning days of WWII to conduct a guerrilla- warfare in post-war Czechoslovakia. Its members were trained for a sabotage work behind enemy lines. They were recruited mainly from the NSDAP and the HITLERJUGEND (Hitler’s youth organization). Apart from its historical significance, the discovery of the NSDAP archive in the Brenna rectory helped to authenticate the eye-witness account by the local priest about the Nazi concealment operation there in March 1945. Furthermore, it promises to lead to further discoveries once the entry way both into the church underground and into the rectory cellars are cleared.
Schloss Neu-Purstein / Nový Berštejn
38 Nazi Occult Workshop August 15, 2006
After a recent restoration, the castle New Falkenburk (27 km northeast of Ceska Lipa) returned to its pre WWII glory. Now the state property, it had been turned into a home for displaced children some years back. Fresco painting of the Roman goddess of flowers, spring and fertility Flora covers the large ceiling and dominates the ground floor dinning room. The festival, named after her Floralia , used to be held in April or early May and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life. It was celebrated with dancing, drinking, and flowers. On the first floor, the large hall of mirrors is embellished with yet another fresco painting, that of Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn. Unbeknown to the Czech historians, the Nazis assigned the castle in 1944 a code name Burgund IV. and placed there a special top-secret occult unit headed by SS Sturmbannfuehrer Hans Richter. A highly selective library on astrology, theosophy and various even more esoteric occult subjects was gathered there. Richter s superior was the SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Werner Goetsch, one of Kaltenbrunner’s special confidants, who had a leading position in Amt VII (Foreign Intelligence). Goetsch became an internationally known figure when in 1935 lead a Nazi commando to Czechoslovakia to assassinate Karl Erich Rolf Formis, who had been broadcasting from a place near Prague anti-Hitler propaganda. . A German memorandum discovered recently by the American researcher Patricia K. Grimsted in Moscow , summarizes January 25, 1944 meeting between Richter and Goetsch. Point 1. states that a close cooperation between the two officers in the process of manufacturing a secret occultedscientific raw material in the castle was planned. Point 2. notes Richter s demand to get a catalogue of the Hamburg free masons library.on loan. Point 3. SS commander Dr. Dittel promises to furnish Richter with the missing rituals n. 19-22. Point 4. Another Richter s demand to get a book by Dr. Just Bayer on Spann. Point 5. Construction of a theology-like department for Gotsch s handset that should include all volumes of Herder s book Religion and Science. Point 6. Another demand to furnish Richter with Theodor Reos magazine Ori-Flamme available from the free masons library at Schlesiersee. SS commander Burmester in cooperation with SS Ehlers will carry out the order. Point 7. Separate procurement of the work by Charezza-Praxis. Point 8. Publication of Professor Heinrich’s work about the Christian corporative state. Sturmbannfuehrer Hans Richter undertook full responsibility for all of the materials and promised to protect it against increasing terrorist attacks. At the end of the meeting Richter was informed that all requested materials were already secured and prepared for a pick-up. While occulted science was understood by the Nazis as being contained in various artifacts: ancient mysteries, various esoteric or other "occult traditions" and actual physical structures or other types of physical artifacts, the "science" component of this term focused specifically on three general areas: physics, chemistry, and biology. The occulted aspect of the term "occulted science therefore takes on an extension of meaning beyond what one normally associates with the term "occult". This "occulted science" is occulted in the sense of "hidden" or "dark" and therefore hidden in the sense of black and covert secret classified projects; "esoteric or occult traditions and secret societies" in the conventional sense. This peculiar blend of logic, reason, and science with the metaphysical and speculative component is a paradigm that is readily adaptable to the peculiarly German turn of mind as it developed from the opening of the nineteenth century to the fall of the final bomb before the capitulation in 1945. The answer may come from its possible connection to the SS’s special "occult research" department, the Ahnenerbedienst, the society personally established by Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler to investigate all manner of occult and esoteric doctrines for its possible scientific value and weaponization.
When Hitler’s private library was discovered in a mine near his idyllic Berchtesgaden, several tons of occult literature were contained in it, including a collection of (Lanz) Von Liebenfels. It was Von Liebenfels and his Order of the New Templars that formed the connection between the SS, irrational "Hollow Earth" experiments, and the far more successful atom bomb test at Rugen. With the assistance of wealthy patrons who soon flocked to his secret society - a society dedicated to basically anyone not "Germanic" or "Aryan" and to the "purification" of the German race from its corrupting influences (Jews, Slavs, "Mongoloids") Von Liebenfels was able to purchase and renovate several old castles throughout Austria and Germany and to transform them into centers for his Order. The Order, in addition to its racist ideology, also dabbled in "astrology, the Cabala, phrenology, homeopathy, and nutrition." When the Nazis seized the power in Germany, they severely regulated any public display of "occultism" or "secret society" activity. Hence, Himmler’s motivations for creating the SS Ahnenerbedienst within the bureaucracy of the SS becomes clearer, for the regime was in part fearful of its own connection to the highest level to such societies and activities. By placing such activities under SS jurisdiction, they could be monitored, studied, funded, organized, and exploited in complete secrecy. The one might have some idea of what the Ahnenerbe was, and of the type of people it first attracted to its ranks. It was a humanities program. With guns. The bureau devoted so much manpower and money to "esoteric research projects that it began to seem as if Himmler hoped to turn the tide in Germany’s favor by fathoming the secrets of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, the occult meaning of Gothic spheres. Among its most ambitious projects, enormous amounts of money were spent for a flight to Tibet to look for traces of a pure Germanic race which might have been able to keep intact the ancient Nordic mysteries. The Ahnenerbe also had archeologists digging up all of Europe for remains of Germanic culture. More than fifty departments in this branch succeeded in spending over a million marks ($400,000) on such "vital" matters. All intellectual, natural, and supernatural sources of power -from modern technology to mediaeval black magic, and from the teachings of Pythagoras to the Faustian pentagram incantation - were to be exploited in the interests of final victory." The Ahnenerbe’s portfolio was to investigate any potential source of power for weaponization. And notably, all normal constraints or orthodox conceptual or moral paradigm were laid aside. The Nazis, in their desperation to win the war, had been experimenting with a form of science the rest of the world had never even remotely considered. And that somewhere in this cauldron of ideas, a new technology had been born; one that was so far ahead of its time it had been suppressed for more than half a century."This is the fact that at its very pinnacle, the SS was deliberately conceived and organized by Heinrich Himmler to be an occult "order," a black and twisted version of King Arthur’s Knights of the Holy Grail and Round Table. The headquarters for this cult was situated at the medieval castle of Wewelsburg, near the towns of Paderborn and Detmold in the German province of Westphalia, close by the site in the Teutoburg Forest where Arminius made his stand with its famous, Stonehenge-like monument known as Externsteine.... There Himmler had constructed a central chamber with a large table designed to seat twelve men specially selected from the senior Gruppenfuhrers (generals) of the SS. A 12,000 volume library of the occult was available in the castle. Central to the secret initiation that these senior SS generals received was the real significance of the anagram "SS" itself. For the "rank and file elite" of the SS, the initials stood for the German word Schutzstaffel, a term meaning loosely a special staff or military unit. But to the initiates, there was another meaning of "SS" altogether, a meaning with roots deep in the occult and in ancient Sumerian, Babylonian, and to a certain extent, Egyptian belief. For these initiates, the letters "SS" referred to die Schwartze Sonne, the Black Sun. The connection between the SS and Egypt is further evidenced by the case of one of the most famous
esotericists of all: R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz. For the SS Ahnenerbe, all this was a potent mix when one recalls that Himmler’s stated purpose for
it, reveled in a letter he wrote to an Ahnenerbe scientist, was not only to study ancient religion, science, and the occult, but also that its principal establishment was as "an institute for military scientific research." It goes without saying that the Black Sun symbolism formed a central doctrine to the pre-Nazi secret society, the Thule Society. The symbol of the Black Sun was also adopted as an emblem for Von Liebenfels’ New Templars. The swastika itself, in this context, becomes not only a well-known symbol from ancient esoteric traditions, but also a talisman of ceremonial magic on a celestial scale, deliberately chosen to mirror the apparent rotation of a well-known constellation around the north pole of the earth’s axis of rotation. By war’s end and his control of all secret weapons projects in Nazi Germany, Hans Kammler had attained the rank of SS Obergruppenfuhrer, the equivalent rank of a four-star general, and only one rank below that of Himmler himself. Given this high rank, it is thus not only possible but very probably that Kammler was one of the chosen "Knights" of Himmler’s "round table", and thus it is probable that by the war’s and Kammler had a deeply connected relationship to the Ahnenerbe and its ocult activities. It may be in part for this reason that his dossier in the US government’s archives remains classified to this day. In any case, there is yet another odd fact, one that again potentially connects Kammler with the Ahnenerbe. Heinrich Himmler, who viewed himself as having some sort of "psychic connection" with the famous mediaeval German Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich the Fowler, had the Emperor’s remains dug up and reinterred in the cathedral of the little town of Quedlinburg. Quedlinburg is in the Harz Mountains, in the heart of the region that was the center of Kammler’s empire of underground secret weapons plants and laboratories. The Ahnenerbe would mount an expedition to Tibet, and return with the only complete copy of the multi-volumed Buddhist Kang Shur to reach the West, a collection reputedly containing much lost information from the pre-classical, ancient "atlantean" world. The quest of the SS to investigate the scientific basis of occult notions, no matter how bizarre or flawed those notions were, is thus itself an integral component of Nazi ideology and is philosophical background in German romanticism and orientalism It is Adolf Hitler’s personal "will to power that betrays the interest of a potential occultist" so much so that this factor - so prevalent within the occult itself - "has never been given its proper due especially in connection to secret weapons research and the Kammler Group’s "think tank." The wooded hills in the area became apparently a site of strange mythical rites by the SS members. At the time of our discovery of the NSDAP s archive in Brenna gothic church, we came across a two-meter-large swastika sculpted into a big rock. A large man-made clearing in front of it, was shaped in a semi-circle allowing the Nazis to perform rituals of the ancient Aryan god-men who were above any morality and therefore justified in their cruel deeds. A Red Army officer operating with his unit in the New Falkenburk area in May 1945, described the deserted castle filled with books on alchemy, the occult, chemistry and natural history. He saw stones with runes carved on them and a lot of free masonry artifacts, old robes, chalices and mystical symbols. The Bundesarchive in Berlin has about 350-pages-long list of book titles once brought to New Falkenburk. Further search by Patricia K. Grimsted in Moscow later this year willl hopefully produce also a missing personal diary of the New Falkenburk s SS unit chief Hans Richter that may tell us more about the role the castle really played in the Hitler s scheme of things.
39 French Intelligence Archive November 5-12, 2005; HornĂ Libchava
5 km northwest of Ceska Lipa, code name Biber. Starting in May 1943, the Amt IV D 4 French information unit was evacuated to the Sudetenland. It was housed in a castle in the village of Oberliebich, not far from four other castles the RSHA used for Amt VII library evacuation sites. Before 1938 the castle was owned by the Order of Malta, who unsuccessfully tried to claim it after the war. After 1955 it was taken over by the Czech military authorities and used as a warehouse for medical supplies until 2002, when the title was transferred to the village of Horni Libchava. Today the crumbling main three-story building with an adjacent shed and tower are all that remains of what had been a more elegant Renaissance castle. An adjacent airstrip several hundred meters up the road from the castle was used by the German military during the war. Today it is overgrown, but at the time of our November 2005 visit, a Cessna plane with German registration was parked alongside, having made an emergency landing. Earlier in 2005 a tunnel was discovered leading from the main building to a hidden entryway in the woods near the edge of the airstrip; professional examination by ordinance control specialists will be needed before plans for further excavation can proceed. Obviously, the Oberleibich castle had been a high-priority NS intelligence unit, so it is not surprising that it was camoflauged from the local population. The massive card files from the French Surete Nationale and related French records held by Amt IVD in Berlin were all reassembled in the Oberliebich castle. The office also housed a photographic laboratory, as later reported by Soviet reconnaissance. An RSHA office list from December 1944 notes staff of at least eight, although their names have yet to be identified. No telephone number or street address are given in contrast to other Amt IV listings. By July 1944 the special Abwehr unit under Amt IV D4 was well enough organized in Oberliebich to announce the availability of data from their Surete card files to other RSHA offices through a postal box in Bohmisch-Leipa. Their announcement explained that direct telephone and telegraph inquiry lines were not available, although a Bohmisch-Leipa telephone number was provided. As the Amt IV internal memorandum explained, the card file covered various categories of Frenchmen, including those active in political circles, those who had cooperated with the Secret in France, as well as all Soviet citizens visiting in France before June 1940. Police, and those who were working in the Reich. It also covered foreigners in France, along with German emigrants, especially those who had been politically active before June 1940. Of special interest to Soviet authorities, the 1944 announcement repeated that they had reorganized the card files of the foreign section prepared for the French Foreign Office, which covered Russian emigres The memorandum promised that additional documentary records of the Surete would soon be available, with information on political parties, trade unions, clubs, associations, newspapers, including files on politically active persons and organizations. Such documents would confirm that the extensive French trade-union records and some other French fonds later identified in Moscow were held by Amt IV in Oberliebich, rather than by Amt VII in Wolfelsdorf, although those records were not mentioned in Soviet reconnaissance reports regarding the materials seized from Bohmishe-Leipa (Ceska Lipa). Towards the end of the war, the RSHA Amt IV unit in Oberliebich was apparently cooperating with a military intelligence unit, since Soviet authorities also found extensive records of the Information Bureau of French military intelligence (Deuxime Bureau) there. Soviet reports identify the German unit to which some of the remaining crates were addressed in Berlin (1940) as the RSHA, but Soviet archivists found no German inventories or office documentation. Apparently the Germans managed to destroy their own operational records before capture, and Soviet reports mention finding burned debris. Fortunately the foreign records held there were preserved. No Soviet reports have surfaced regarding the capture of German staff.
A Red Army SMERSH unit with the First Ukrainian Front found the major cache of French intelligence records in Oberliebich in early May 1945. On personal orders from Lavrentii Beria, Soviet group of 40-50 soldiers was sent to assist in assembling, packing, and loading an estimated 1,000 crates for transport to Moscow. Delays ensued because all the necessary orders had not been received. Archival Administration (GAU NKVD) Chief Nikitinskii (20 May 1945), ordered a special top-level Soviet archival crew to Dresden by air, and their escort for them to Ceska Lipa, together with a received when GAU Acquisitions Department chief E.!. Golubtsov and his group arrived in Dresden 18 May, but Moscowâ€™s speedy authorization of 15-20,000 German marks for expenses undoubtedly helped. Six weeks later, an armed convoy of twenty-eight sealed freight cars and a passenger wagon left Ceska Lipa on 6 July under armed escort. Attacked by bandits before they reached the German border en route to Dresden, they were further delayed there. The echelon encountered more sabotage before they reached Wroclaw (Breslau), and then, due to bad rails, they were diverted to Poznan. Despite further attacks and delays, the secret cargo of French archives safely reached Moscow by mid-July. As reported to Beria after arrival, the shipment included records of the French internal intelligence and counterintelligence services, with approximately 300,000 files and over a million cards covering documents from the Surete Nationale. The Central Card Files include all foreigners registered with the Surete, including persons belonging to the revolutionary movement in France and other countries classified according to their party membership. Among the card catalogue of over a million cards, the Soviet report specifically notes, they "found cards on Communist Party leaders and Soviet Government Comrades Stalin, Molotov, Kalinin, and Kaganovich." Apart from French security materials in the archive are found a significant quantity of documents from the information bureau, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, War Ministry [Deuxieme Bureau - intelligence], trade unions, and political parties." Files (1921-1940) include "reports on developments in various countries from China, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and others; on the Spanish "uprising (Civil War)", and the economy of Ukraine Materials from the French Foreign Ministry principally contain correspondence regarding the Saarland, the French consulate in Saarbrucken ... and on Tunisia and other French colonies in Africa." Many of the remaining "crates had German notations about the character of the contents" and specified that the materials were "needed by the RSHA in Berlin in August-September 1940." Some crates were marked as containing "Material having state political significance." Moscow specialists also found evidence that many of the French files found in Oberliebich had initially been worked over in Berlin.
40 CHANCELLOR'S DESCENDENT (Plasy, CR, 2006-7)
Among a few who dared to oppose Hitler’s systematic plunder of European art treasures during WWII, the name of Count Franz Wolff Metternich (1893-1978), stands out prominently. The grandson of the famous Austrian Chancellor Klemens Wenzel von Metternich (1773-1859) who restructured Europe after Napoleon’s defeat was chosen to head Hitler’s "Art and Monuments Protection Office" when it was established in May 1940. At the time of his appointment Metternich enjoyed international reputation as a distinguished art historian and a Francophile. His organization also known as "Kunstschutz," became responsible for compiling a list of the most significant objects of art located in the war zone and protecting it in the name of the army and in conformity with international agreements. As a civilian, Metternich was responsible for his work to the Supreme Command of the German Army. The protection of monuments and works of art was included in Wehrmacht directives, drafted in accordance with the 1907 "Hague Convention." (Art. 56: "The property of municipalities, that of institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, even when State property, shall be treated as private property. All seizure of, destruction or wilful damage done to institutions of this character, historic monuments, works of art and science, is forbidden, and should be made the subject of legal proceedings.") Metternich felt that it was his duty to enforce this international law to the letter. For almost two years he had succeeded in preventing removal of art objects from the countries occupied by Germany. However, his observation of international treaties did not go well with General Goring’s megalomaniac art-collecting taste. On 5 February 1941 Goering gave orders that the art objects which the Fuehrer wishes to acquire and those objects of art which are to become the property of the Reich Marshal are to be brought to Germany immediately. Wolff Metternich’s strong objections caused his immediate dismissal and in 1942 he returned to his quiet post of a Provincial Curator in Westphalia. However, following WWII, he continued his positive role and lead the Allies to more than ten major Nazi hideouts of the looted art in Germany and Czechoslovakia. Hoping to learn more about Wolff Metternich, his family, education and the spirit he was brought up in, I had visited in 2006 Metternich’s family former estates in Kromeriz and Plasy where young aristocrat had spent extended period of time in the late twenties. The property owner, Wolff’s uncle Count Clemens Wenzel Metternich-Winneburg (1869-1930) was then married to Isabel de Silva y Carvajal, a cousin of the Spanish king. The couple usually spent winters in cosmopolitan Vienna, and used the castle in Kromeriz and Plasy primarily as their summer dwelling. The rich family tradition and the atmosphere created there by its founder, the Chancellor is felt everywhere. The Kynzvart castle built in the Viennese classicist style features a priceless art collection acquired by the art-loving Metternich during his lifetime. Paintings by Anthony Van Dyck, Pieter Brueghel and Paolo Veronese are adorned by the Tizian’s most famous masterpiece - "Apollo and Mars." Splendid interiors of Kynzvart Castle also house four late Gothic altar-pieces, created by the German painter Bernard Strigel (1461 - 1528) in 1510, indisputably ranking among the most precious exhibits. Strigel’s paramount panels depict the legend of finding the remains of the Holly Cross. They may have originated from the monastery at Ochsenhausen which was taken over by the Chancellor’s father, Prince Francis George of Metternich in 1803. The collections also include a French Renaissance tapestry with a hunting scene dating back to 1560, and several Renaissance and early Baroque portraits. Initially, many items used to adorn Chancellor Metternich’s villa in Vienna. Some marble sculptures (e. g. "Cupid and Psyche") originated in Antonio Canova’s workshop in Rome, reliefs were made by Bertel Thorwaldsen, while some other sculptures and busts were created by Christian Rauch, Pietro Fontana, Pompeo Marchese, Giuseppe Pisani and Pietro Tenerani. In total, this unique set consists of 36 marble Classical sculptures. In 1908 these works of
art were transferred to Kynzvart (including the French Imperial Style decorative vases and plinth made of malachite, porfyrite, alabaster and marble). In 1828 Metternich chose the St. Wenzel church in Plasy to as a place to build his family tomb in. Twentythree embalmed corpses had been already resting there at the time of Wolff’s visits. Soon afterwards in 1930, the coffin with the remains of his uncle Clemens Wenzel was also added, making him the last of the family to be buried in Plasy. WWII effectively ended the three hundred and fifteen years-long Metternichs presence in Bohemia. At the end of the war, the last of the kin - Paul Alfons and his aristocratic Russian wife Tatyana Wasillichkov had to escape from Plasy overnight to avoid a capture by the quickly advancing Soviet Red Army. Leaving all their family possession behind, they settled down at the Johannisburg castle on the banks of Main River in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria. With Paul Alfons’ death in 1992, the Winneburg branch of the Metternich’s family officially died off. Their properties in Czechoslovakia were long before nationalized by the Czechoslovakian government as a result of the controversial President Benes’ post-WWII decree about evacuation of almost 3 mil. German nationals and a confiscation of their property. A renovation of the castle was finished in 2000 turning Kynzvart into one of the most valued Czech architectural landmarks. Its art collection has always been considered as one of the most valuable in Central Europe. In 2002, the castle and its gardens were placed by the UNESCO on the "World Heritage List." While I was able to piece together many facts about many other members of Metternich family, my search for Wolff Metternich himself seemed to be going nowhere. Neither the Prague family archive nor the German Bundesarchiv revealed any interesting details on his young years and visits to Czechoslovakia. Then in summer of 2006 my numerous appeals for witnesses and information were suddenly answered by a middleaged man whose familiarity with the Metternichs’ clan was surprising. His information gave eventually my investigation a new direction. As Mr. K. explained, his great grandmother Mrs. Emilie Nova had worked for the Metternichs as a chambermaid both in Vienna and in Kynzvart and Plasy in1900-1920. In 1909 she gave birth to a boy whose father (as we can gather from several of her letters) was until then childless Count Clement Wenzel. Although the boy’s birth certificate does not mention his father’s name, Eduard had been brought up by the Metternchs as their own; eight years later together with the Count’s first official son Paul Alfons (1917-1992). When Clemens-Wenzel Metternich died on May 15 1930 in Munich, Paul Alfons at the age of thirteen became the sole heir to the family fortune. I failed to find anything more about the fate of Mrs. Emilie Nova. Her son Eduard Novy died in 1981, he was cremated and buried in the Prague’s Olsany cemetery. Interestingly enough, neither Paul Alfons Metternich nor his Russian wife Tatyana Wasillitchkov (1915-2006) whom he married in 1942 in Grunewald, Germany never mentioned Eduard or his mother in their memoirs. Very little is also known about Paul’s father Count Clemens-Wenzel who apparently died of syphilis. Although most of the documents at my disposal seem to support my informer’s claim to be a continuator of the Metternich’s family, it became apparent that the only concisive proof about it could be gained through a DNA test. During the past several years, a series of successful anthropological and medical experiments have been carried out in Czech Republic. By using discovered physical remains, a group of scientists lead by a world-renown anthropologist and doctor Emanuel Vlcek (1925-2006) succeeded in identifying several important figures in the Czech history, determined their age, likeness and unique features, established cause of death, etc. Among them the kings Charles IV. (13161378) and Ladislav Pohrobek (1440-1457), the warlord Jan Zizka of Trocnov (1360-1424) and the military leader Albrecht of Valdstein (1583-1634.) In none of these cases though did Prof. Vlcek use the DNA test a legacy he left to the next generation of scientists.
The recent discoveries made the City Council in Plasy (Metternichs’ tomb administrator) willing to discuss and eventually even grant me an approval to exhume the corpse of Clemens Wenzel Metternich and to collect his DNA sample. It was going to be matched against the one that my medical team had already gotten from Mr. K. To give our undertaking the best expertise possible, I have contacted several international DNA institutes and discussed with them thoroughly the entire process of the test. American, Swiss, British and Swedish doctors shared their own experiences and although somewhat skeptical about the viability of the DNA samples we might collect from the corpse, they agreed to cooperate. The main problem though was that the all-masculine link between Clemens Wenzel and Mr. K. was interrupted at one point by a female relative, making the Y-chromosome testing impossible to apply. On February 19, 2007, I found myself standing in front of the door leading to the Metternichs’ crypt at Plasy St. Wenzel’s church. A Latin "PAX VOBIS" ("Let There be Peace with You") sign painted in gold letters spanned over the small entrance. My team consisted of two doctors - Czech DNA specialists, the city Mayor and a cameraman. Employees of the local Funeral Home had already pulled out the wooden coffin of Clemens Wenzel from its iron rack located in the middle row on the left side of the crypt and opened it up. They found one more zinc plate casket inside containing the aristocrat’s physical remains. It had a small 25x15 cm glass window at the upper part, allowing a glimpse at the Count’s disintegrating face. Since to open the casket completely and expose the entire corpse would have meant to virtually cut it in half, the doctors opted to work through the small opening. Approximately one hour later, carefully carrying several plastic begs containing the precious DNA samples and relieved that the most demanding task of this project was over, we left the crypt. The samples were immediately delivered to the Prague Gennet Lab, the most advanced specialized workplace in Czech Republic. Meantime, the lab has managed to gather several other DNA samples from Mr. K.’s deceased relatives that turned out viable and were able to compensate for our inability to perform the Y-chromosome test. They included the post stamps lifted from the letters written by Mr. K.’s great grandmother around 1908, his grandfather’s two unfinished cigarettes in a silver case, etc. As of this writing in April 2007, the testing will continue for another couple weeks before the final results are known. If the matching of Mr. K.’s and the Count Clemens Wenzel von Metternich’s DNA samples turns positive, it will almost certainly open a can of worms. The Czech government will not escape yet another test of its fragile relationship with neighboring Germany on the issue that nobody is anxious to discuss. Was the post-WWII Czech decision to confiscate legally held German property justified and even if it was, what about the case of the Germans who clearly proved their anti-Nazi sentiments and risked their lives by fighting against Hitler?
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Archives, doc. materials, personal testemonials
Grimsted Patricia K., Historian/ Author, Harvard University, Ukrainian Research Institute; Smejkal Ladislav, Historian, Ceska Lipa Museum; Bulajc Belko, Film Director: "The Donor"; Georgescu Mihai, Manager, Cosaco Group Ltd., Rumania; Muzik Helmut, People's Militia, CSSR; Muzik Josef, Treasure Hunter; Gaensel Helmut, Mining Prospector; Lowery Colm, Microbiologist/Author; Carrington Nic, Volker Commission, London; Rydygr Zdenek, Historian, Military History Club, Ceska Lipa; Cichon Petr, Writer/Journalist, “Host do Domu”; Carrington Nic, Volker Commission, London; Kozlov Konstantin, Art Historian/Author; Dobisikova Jana, Genetist, The National Museum, Prague; Kukla Pavel, Dentist Production Support & Assistance
Cingovatov Jurij Lvovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia; Krejci Jan, Mayor, Vrchlabi; Lichtag Steve, Producer/Director, “Comfact”; Semerda Richard, Manager, “Czeckitout”; Katek Janet, US State Dept.; Cerovsky Milos, ex-Prosecutor General; Macek Jaroslav, Chancellor, Litomerice archdioceze; Kavan Richard, Matejka Jan, priests, Zakupy; Stehlikova Daniela, Art Historian, UMPRUM; Dvorsky Miroslav, ex-Director, Czech Criminal Police; Bek Eduard, Explorer; Petschek Viktor, Enterpreneur, NYC; Ford Arch, Treasure Hunter in Phillipines; Wimmer Roman, Political Lobbyist, “Mount Top”; Djakovic Pedjo, Painter; Marecek Vaclav, Attorney; US National Archives, College Park, Maryland; Vokac Petr, Author/Journalist; Koch Chris, Producer, Koch TV; Paturi Felix, Author, ZDF/Bertelsmann Publish.; Jonakova Slavka, Enterpreneur; Knodl Jindrich, Adv. Executive; Ebrahim Margaret, Producer, CBS News; deBonville Floris, Director, Gamma Photo; Shigenobu Yutaka, Producer, TV Man Union; Utley Garrick, Anchorman, Turner Broadcasting; SteenOlsen Peter, TV Producer; Ransom Scott, Director/Cameraman, ESPN; Packo Ludovit, Aircraft Designer, Larus Technical & Logistical Support
Bohm Jindrich, Kovar Ivan, Subert Rastislav, Noha Zdenek, Technical Divers; Duchoslav Zdenek, Archeologist, “Zebra Earth Science”; Patterson Jeffrey, Geologist, The University of Calgary; Zegklitz Jaroslav, Archeologist; Institut of Archeology CR; Hanus Frantisek, Geologist, Prague City Hall; Hajek Jiri, Spokesman, Ministry of Interior; Robbart John, Investment Banker, NYC; Hajducikova Dagmar, Ministry of Culture, CR; Slezak Miro, Castle Novy Berstejn, Owner Camera/Photography
Becker Alan, Photographer, World Photo Bank; Tuma Frantisek, Cameraman; Lutansky Stepan, Photographer, “Dobry Vecer”; Tichy Zdenek, Cameraman; Obzinova Jitka, Photographer; Kotesovec Radim, Video Editor, Noha Zdenek, Technical Diver; Straka Oldrich, Cameraman; Bibliography
"Das Reich" by John Lucas; "Hitler und die Bombe" by Thomas Mehner; "The Vengenance Express" by Colm Lowery; "The Hunt for Zero Point" by Nick Cook; "Death is Learning to Fly" by Vilem Nejtek; "Stolen Painting," by Vladimir Hottman; The Rape of Europa by Lynn H. Nicholas; Returned from Russia by Patricia K. Grimsted; The Apothecary by Adrian Mathews; Reich of the Black Sun by Joseph P. Farrell; Beautiful Loot by Konstantin Akinsha & Grigori Kozlov
"Prague Post," Levy Alan; "Black Ice Magazine," Benett Mark; "Helsinki Times," Laukka Petri; "Thesau Magazine," Touge Pierre Allan; "Prognosis," Mabe H. Morgan; "Prague Pill," Jayne Micah; "Radio Metropolis," MichaelĂs Deborah; "National Geographic," Kobersteen J. Kent; "Rocks and Minerals," Marie Huizing; "Life Magazine," Howe Peter; "Frontline," Campbell Marrin; "Primetime Live," ABC News, Rosen Ira; "Tribune Entertainment," Cooper Shelly, "Reflex Magazine," Klima Josef; "NOVA-TV", Klima Josef; "CT-1"; "NHK-TV," Shigenobu Tutala; "Bayerischer Rundfunk," Kellhammer Angelika; "Newsweek," Krosnar Katka; "BBC Europe," Shukman David; "Koktejl Magazine," Slama Milan; "TIME Magazine Europe," Labi Aisha; "Suddeutsche Zeitung", Katzenberg Paul; "The Economist," Konviser I. Bruce; "ARD Donors
Landau Robert, Principal, ISP; Koch Chris, Director, Koch TV; Glasier Joshua, Developer; Sammy Tom, Real Estate Exec., Spectrum; Jirasek Jaroslav, Talent Agent; Klapa Milan, Chief IngeneerLipno; Propaganda Agency; Duchoslav Zdenek, Archeologist; Bakker Frans, Financial Dir., Philipps; Rubens Ogan, Developer, Africa-Israel; Macek Otto, Art Director Technical Assistance
Andrle Ales, Hanus Lubor, Knodl Jindrich, Michalec Petr, Gorman Tim, Lemkin Peter
c 2006 Jaro Sveceny The material contained herein is protected by copyright laws of America. No portions or excerpts can be used without an explicit approval by the copyright holder.