The Amber Room is a world-famous chamber comprising of elaborate amber panels, backed with gold leafs and mirrors. It was located in the Catherine Palace in the town of Tsarskoye Selo not far from Saint Petersburg.
In 1755, the room was used as a chamber for Czarina Elizabeth to mediate and later as a gathering room for Catherine the Great. It was eventually used as a trophy space for Alexander II, an amber connoisseur.
The Amber Room went missing 70 years ago during the final months of the Second World War. In June 1944, Hitler initiated a task known as Operation Barbarossa. It involved three million German soldiers entering the Soviet Union to loot tens of thousands of valuable art pieces, including the eminent Amber Room.
As (1) Smithsonian writes, the Nazis believed the Amber Room was made by Germans and, even more certainly, made for Germans.
It was looted by the Nazis and taken to the castle of Konigsberg, the capital of what was formerly East Prussia.
However, what is dubbed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” since disappeared and its whereabouts remains a mystery.
While the KGB and the East German Stasi secret service long gave up quests to find the treasure, many amateurs have never given up searching for the elusive Amber Room, particularly in Germany.
This spring will see three different groups of treasure hunters embark on an archaeological race to hopefully finally find the Eighth Wonder of the World.
Karl-Heinz Kleine is leading one of the three rival excavations this spring. The 68-year-old pensioner from Wuppertal, Germany believes the treasure is buried somewhere under the city of Wuppertal and is confident he will find it.
Kleine’s confidence that the loot is located under Wuppertal stems from the fact that the Nazi leader of East Prussia, who collected his own mass of looted treasure, came from Wuppertal. It would therefore be logical for the leader to hide the Amber Room in his home town, which was safe from the Soviet forces, and where he might return, believes Kleine.
“I’m very confident because look at all the people who’ve been searching for it for so long all over the place. And what have they found? Nothing,” (2) Kleine told DW.
“With us, we’re not relying on what some supposed eyewitness said on his deathbed, we’re guided by a historical fact. And Erich Koch’s a historical fact.”
Kleine’s excavation project involves six fellow diggers. The team has been searching for the missing Amber Room since 2010 and spends four or five days a week searching for the treasure.
Digging into the 170 bunkers and caverns under the city of Wuppertal is challenging, particularly without a drill. Kleine said that he had to give the drill he was borrowing back and his pension won’t cover buying a new one, though an appeal for donations has resulted in the team being offered another drill.
Optimism about Search
One of Kleine’s competitors in the race to find the missing Amber Room is Heinz-Peter Haustein, one of the most prominent Amber Room searchers in Germany. Haustein is also mayor of Deutschneudorf in the Ore Mountains, a region rich with old mines.
Haustein is convinced the Amber Room is hidden in the Deutscheudorf area. Haustein led a high profile dig to find the treasure in 2008 but found nothing.
Haustein and his team of excavators are waiting for the snow to clear and the ground to soften before they begin the search once more. Being “optimistic and fully-committed”, Haustein scorns Kleine’s confidence.
“Let him have his fun. He won’t find the Amber Room,” said Haustein.
The third Amber Room searcher is Hendrik Labe, the mayor of Nobitz. Labe believes the treasure is located in a cavern under a forest near Leipzig, an area where the Stasi secret service dug in 1964.
“They were almost at the right place. But a few meters off can make all the difference,” Nobitz told reporters.
Top Secret Writers is committed to informing our readers about stories of hidden treasure, which, we have to admit, usually involves the Nazis.
First, thousands of bars of gold, numerous art masterpiece, bale upon bale of foreign currency and thousands of boxes of gold bullion (3) were found in the Merkers Mine in Germany. Now, enter an exciting race going head to head to find what was possibly the biggest Nazi treasure loot. Curious to see what happens next? Rest assured if the elusive Amber Room is found this spring, you will be able to read all about it at Top Secret Writers.