Search for alleged Nazi treasure in the Netherlands

OMMEREN, Netherlands (HPD) — A hand-drawn map with a red X letter that purports to show the location of a cache of jewelry stolen by Nazis from a bank vault has sparked a modern-day treasure hunt in a small Dutch village more than three-quarters of a century later.

Armed with metal detectors, shovels and copies of the map on their cell phones, treasure hunters have invaded Ommeren—a town of 715 about 50 miles southeast of Amsterdam—in search of World War II treasure based on the sketch published on January 3.

“Yes, of course, it is spectacular news that has cast a spell over the entire village,” said resident Marco Roodveldt. “But not only from our village, but also people who are not from here.”

He maintained that “all sorts of people have been spontaneously digging in places where they think the treasure is buried, with a metal detector.”

It was not initially clear whether the authorities would be able to claim the loot if they found it, or whether a finder could keep it.

So far, there have been no reports of findings. The search began this year, when the National Archives released its annual release of documents for historians to study.

Most did not attract attention. But the map, which includes a stretch of country road and a red X at the foot of one of three trees, unexpectedly went viral to upset the winter peace of Ommeren.

“History itself has left us stunned. But also the attention it has generated,” said Annet Waelkens, a researcher at the National Archives, carefully displaying the map.

Photos posted on social media in early January showed people digging bits more than a meter deep, sometimes on private property, hoping to unearth a fortune.

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