There is a general consensus among historians of the Second World War that, when it comes to gold, the United States especially enjoyed the spoils of the Allied victory in the war. At the time, the U.S. held the most massive stockpile of gold bullion the human race has ever seen, accumulating more than 20,000 metric tonnes in its official gold reserves.
After a slew of stories about hidden WWII gold hitting the news wires of late, it seems as though America may not have gotten quite all of the gold at large in the devastating wake of the war that destroyed Europe.
Yet another such story has popped up, this time about trucks buried beneath the ground in Russia that may hold fantastic amounts of gold and precious metals.
The potential discovery was made by an unnamed German engineer using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Located in mine shafts far beneath the surface, the vigilante researcher claims that the trucks buried near Smolensk, Russia—west of Moscow—were hidden there by retreating Soviets in 1941. Although the Soviet officers hurriedly burned the paper money and artwork included in the cache to keep them out of Nazi hands, the anonymous engineer (who spoke to the German newspaper Bild through his lawyer) believes the remaining 5 or 6 Russian trucks are holding incredible amounts of metals, jewels, and other valuables. He estimates that 100 tonnes (more than 3.2 million troy ounces) of gold are included in the lost treasure.
While it is believed that there were originally 7 or 8 trucks that the Soviets buried in their haste to prevent the Nazis from seizing the riches, the treasure-hunting engineer claims to have located 6 trucks in total. The statements through his lawyer reported by the German press indicated that he took on serious personal risk to his safety in making his discovery.
Whether or not the claims have any veracity will apparently be resolved in the coming days when the anonymous engineer provides proof of his findings.
Some observers are skeptical about the claim of hidden Russian loot from WWII due to the apparently unrelated breaking story a few weeks ago about a train hidden in the Polish mountainside that was supposedly stowed there near the end of the war by Nazis, and may similarly contain vast amounts of wealth and precious metals inside. When one fantastic treasure story about World War II and secret gold comes out, there is sometimes a tendency for any similar tales (whether they are true or not) to follow.
That doesn’t mean the buried trucks filled with gold in Russia is necessarily a fiction; it’s just always good to keep a balanced perspective when the news media jumps on exciting-but-hard-to-believe headlines.
The plausibility of the story is strong; there is direct knowledge of the Nazis (and those seeking to protect things from seizure by Nazis) placing valuables in hidden places during the chaos of the war. This knowledge has been bolstered by the discovery of the Nazi train, but we must await the findings of the Polish authorities before the presence of gold is confirmed. It’s wise to reserve judgment in the same way for this news from Russia.