The National Archives of the Netherlands is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making available the national archival heritage and holds a wide range of materials, including documents, photographs, maps, films, and audio recordings, dating back to the Middle Ages.
Last week, the National Archives released a map revealing where the German soldiers have buried the treasures in the final days of the second world war, sparking a treasure hunt. People equipped with metal detectors and shovels began searching and digging the fields near Ommeren, in central Holland.
The treasure is believed to be worth more than $15m, containing gold, jewelries, coins, diamonds that have been buried in April 1945 as the soldiers “decide to bury the treasure because it’s just getting a bit too hot under their feet, and they’re getting scared,” explained Annet Waalkens, adviser at the National Archives.
Finding the treasure seems to be every detective’s dream, but searching for it can be risky and dangerous as well, if anything is found it must be reported to the authorities. “Experts point out that the area is close to the frontline of the Second World War. Searching there is dangerous because of possible unexploded bombs, landmines, or grenades. We, therefore, advise against searching for the Nazi treasure,” warns the municipality’s website.
Even though the existence of the treasure has never been confirmed, between 1946 and 1947, three official searches were carried out by the Beheersinstitut, but none was successful. “We don’t know for sure if the treasure existed. But the institute conducted a lot of checks and found the story reliable. But they never found it, the treasure might very well have been dug up already,” said National Archive spokesperson, Anne-Marieke Samson, to Reuters.
Alongside with the map, another 1,300 historical documents were released last week, between them a 7cm thick file documenting the failed attempts of the authorities to find the treasure.