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Nazi shipwreck holds clue to finding looted treasure

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The discovery of a World War II shipwreck may solve the decades-old mystery of the Amber Room – ornate treasure looted by the Nazis from Russian palace.

The discovery of a World War II shipwreck may solve the decades-old mystery of the Amber Room - ornate treasure looted by the Nazis from Russian palace.

The Amber Room - decorated with amber and gold - was part of a Tsarist palace in St Petersburg but was dismantled by the invading German army after the invasion of Russia in 1941.

It was last seen in 1945 during the final months of World War II in a Nazi-controlled Baltic port city.

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Now after the discovery of the Karlsruhe steamer by Polish divers, the mystery may be closer to being solved.

The vessel left Koenigsberg - which is today the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad - in May 1945 before it was sunk by Soviet warplanes.

Divers from the Baltictech group said last month they found the wreck of the Karlsruhe 90 metres beneath the Baltic Sea.

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"We have been looking for the wreckage since last year when we realised there could be the most interesting, undiscovered story lying at the bottom of the Baltic Sea," diver Tomasz Stachura said.

"It is practically intact. In its holds, we discovered military vehicles, porcelain and many crates with contents still unknown."

The Karlsruhe had been taking part in the sea evacuation in history of more than one million German troops and civilians from East Prussia at the end of World War Two.

Historical records suggest the vessel was carrying a heavy cargo of about 300 tonnes and more than 1000 people.

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"We don't want to get excited, but if the Germans were to take the Amber Chamber across the Baltic Sea, then Karlsruhe steamer was their last chance," Baltitech said in a statement.

The Amber Room was built in Prussia and then given to the Russian royal family in 1716 as a gift.

Following World War II, Russian experts constructed a replica Amber Room in the Catherine Palace in St Petersburg.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/baltic-world-war-two-shipwreck-believed-to-hold-looted-amber-room-treasure/4bf3c7ae-5171-4df0-8701-a00905b74bbe

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