Omeren, an area about 80 km southeast of Amsterdam, has been searched for a treasure trove of jewels looted by the Nazis.
A large number of people turned up in the Dutch village of Omeren in January 2023 to locate the alleged burial site of the treasure after a quarter of a century had passed. Armed with metal detectors, shovels and copies of maps on their cell phones, all sorts of people tried to dig in Omeren, 50 miles southeast of Amsterdam.
“Yes, this is indeed a wonderful news that has greatly affected the people. Not only our village, but also people who are not residents here have come from far away.” In these words, a local resident, Marko Rodveld, described this unique excavation and discovery campaign in his village these days. Marco Rudveld added, “All kinds of people are digging spontaneously. In places where they think the treasure is buried with the metal.”
Geography of this area
Omeren is a village in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. It is actually a part of Bourne Municipality and is situated at a distance of nine kilometers to the north-west from the popular area of Tell. In 1840, this area consisted of only 413 people. In 1944, this village was near the front line of the Allied forces. In January of this year, Omeran became the center of media reporting as a unique news item.
The search for treasure in the Dutch village of Omeren began this year, 2023, when the Dutch National Archives published a map. It should be noted that the Dutch National Archives makes thousands of documents public to historians every year in January. This time most of the documents published by the Dutch National Archives went unnoticed. But one map, one depicting a cross-section of a country road and another depicting three trees with a red or red X drawn at the bottom or base of one, unexpectedly went viral. “We’re quite puzzled about the story itself,” said Annette Walkins, a researcher at the National Archives, carefully showing the map. ‘
In early January, photos on social media showed people digging, sometimes up to a meter or more (three feet) deep on private property. All sorts of people were seen trying their luck and hoping to find some happy discovery.
The municipality of Uran, where the village is located, issued a statement on its website stating that prospecting for the metal is prohibited, warning that the area was used as a front line in World War II. “It is dangerous to carry out search operations there because of the possibility of buried explosives and detonation of bombs, mines and munitions,” the statement added. Advise against going on a Nazi treasure hunt.” However, the latest treasure-hunting campaign has so far been unsuccessful, with most “hunters” returning empty-handed. .
What is the real story?
“The story begins in the summer of 1944,” says National Archives researcher Annette Walkins. The Nazi-occupied city of Arnhem was made famous by a star-studded film titled ‘A Bridge Too Far’. When a bomb hit a church-like building in the area, its belongings, including gold jewelry and cash, were scattered,” Annette Walkins added, adding that German soldiers stationed nearby began filling their pockets with the goods and cash. The German soldiers also filled the ammunition boxes with this material.
Near the end of World War II in 1945, the German occupiers of the Netherlands were pushed out by the advancing Allies. The soldiers who had been in Arnhem now reached Omeren where they decided to bury all the looted treasure. Annette Walkins, quoting a German soldier interviewed by Dutch military officials in Berlin after the war who were also responsible for the map, says, “Four boxes of ammunition and some jewelry, some cash, and a handkerchief.” I was tied up, they buried him there.” These archived documents did not reveal whether the German soldier was still alive. He has not yet been named under EU privacy regulations.
The efforts of the Dutch authorities
In 1947, the Dutch authorities excavated the area for the first time based on the maps and soldiers’ statements, but the authorities could not make any progress. “When they went back after the snow melted, they found nothing,” said Annette Walkins. “After the failed attempt, the German soldier was convinced that someone else had already dug up the treasure.”
These details have been largely ignored by treasure hunters since the publication of the Omeran map. Peace and tranquility have returned to the village.
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