A hidden deposit made by Germans living in Lubomierz, south-western Poland, during World War II was discovered after the relatives of the people that have hidden the objects came to seek them. The Germans asking for shovels brought the attention of the Polish Police which notified the heritage officials.
The German family were going from house to house with a letter written in Polish asking for help and stating that they are looking for items left by their grandfather when then he was fleeing the area during World War II. They were equipped with a handwritten document with a map, made by the grandfather in 1954 with a place marked where the deposit was hidden underground.
One of the residents of Lubomierz informed the Police who came to the site and notified the local heritage office that illegal excavations are being conducted. The Police secured the site located between two wayside shrines and a tree. The two men, who were just starting to dig, were instructed by the Police that any excavations in search for objects deposited in the past may be conducted only with permit from the local heritage office. Their IDs were checked and it turned out that they are two businessmen from Hamburg, relatives of the man who created the map, a gardener who buried the family heirloom leaving the area.
The site was finally excavated after the weekend by Polish archaeologists under watch by the local heritage office and the Police. Between the roots of the tree a damaged jar was found with the content mixed with mud and dirt.
Experts studied the find and discovered it contained watches, necklaces, pendants, rings, coins and wallets. Among the objects is a silver cigarette case given by the Japanese delegation to the German Nazi allies in Berlin, silver Russian coins and U.S. dollars. At present it is uncertain whether these are personal belongings or antiquities of high value. Their historical value, however might indicate that they will not be returned as every find of that kind belongs to The Polish state.
Both Germans did not stay until the excavations found the objects as they had to return to their country during the weekend. At present it is uncertain if the objects will be returned to them.
(after Radio Wrocław & TVN24)