ss_blog_claim=87d912d47e189099ba8e6a359c2c2486 Lilyruths "This and that friendly cottage": Notes From Beyond the GRAVE

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February 27, 2008

Notes From Beyond the GRAVE

As puffs of white dust are thrown into the air the front line spectators cough and retreat a little, brushing the powder from their coats, before returning to catch more of the action as the huge drill penetrates the ground.

German parliament, usually concentrating on reform of the country's accident insurance laws rather than treasure hunts, says there is reason to believe he may have the key to unlock one of the most tantalizing mysteries of the war - what happened to the Amber Room?

Two months ago the mayor was approached by a part-time treasure hunter, Christian Hanisch, who had heard of his 12-year quest to find the "Bernstein Zimmer" and handed him some documents which gave new impetus to the search.

Notebooks support local historical reports of how, as part of "Operation Sundown", German military convoys delivered heavy sealed caskets and hid them in a network of copper and silver mines in the Ore mountains on the Czech-German border on April 9 1945, in the final weeks of the war.

Monika Pach concentrates intently on the scene. "My Siegfried always said there was treasure to be found here," said the pensioner. Siegfried, a history professor and the local historian until his recent death, also possessed documents supporting the claim that diamonds and gold lay in the man made cave.

"We used to receive death threats from people wanting to know where the treasure was," she said, "so the documents are now kept in the safe in the town hall so that I can sleep at night."

Mr Haustein is one of thousands of treasure hunters who refuse to believe the Amber Room - which experts say would be worth around €350m (£263m) today - is no more. He has pumped tens of thousands of euros into the search for it. What if he does indeed find it?

"It's not a case of finders keepers," he said. "It would belong to the state but the resulting tourism would be a gift.

"I would love to see it handed back to the Russian people and maybe in return they would give the village just enough reward money to build a new school."
By Guardian

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