It is said that the Nazi government tried to smuggle more than three tons of gold out of Germany when it became clear they were not going to win the war. They loaded the gold on a refugee ship, the MV Wilhelm Gustloff.
The Nazis accumulated a large amount of gold, paintings and other valuable goods during their time in power. It is believed that some of that hoard was placed on the Gustloff before it set sail on its final voyage.
The Gustloff was sunk by the Soviets, killing over 9,400 of the 10,600 passengers on board. In terms of human life, the sinking of the Gustloff was six times worse than the sinking of the Titanic, The Sun reported.
Treasure hunters have been seeking the gold, worth £100 million in today’s money. Some believe it wasn’t on the ship at all but is stored in a hidden bunker or on a train buried in an old mine.
A professional diver, Phil Sayers of Great Britain, believes he’s found the wreck 450m under water in the Baltic Sea. He located the wreckage after speaking to Rudi Lange, the ship’s radio operator.
Just 17 years old at the time, Lange was responsible for sending the SOS when the ship began sinking after Soviet submarine S-13 hit it with a torpedo. He also claims he saw crates of gold loaded on the ship before they set sail.
Sayers dove the wreck in 1988. He has also written a novel inspired by his meeting with Lange.