Polish divers say they have found a WWII German shipwreck that may help solve a decades-old mystery about where the Amber Room is. Ornate room looted by the Nazis from the Caesar Palace in Russia.
The room, decorated with amber and gold, was part of the Catherine Palace near Saint Petersburg. It was last seen in Konigsberg, then a coastal town on the Baltic Sea Germany But now the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
The Karlsruhe steamship sailed from Konigsberg in 1945 with a heavy load before Soviet warplanes sank it off the coast of Poland.
Baltictech divers say they have found the wreck of Karlsruhe.
“We have been searching for the wreck since last year when we realized that there could be a more interesting undiscovered story located at the bottom of the Baltic Sea,” Thomas Stachura, a diver, said in a statement.
“They are practically intact. We discovered in their wards military vehicles, porcelain and many boxes whose contents are still unknown.”
Karlsruhe was participating in Operation Hannibal, one of the largest naval evacuations in history, which helped over a million German soldiers and civilians from East Prussia escape the Soviet advance towards the end of World War II.
Documents from that time indicate that the ship left Konigsberg in a hurry with a large cargo and 1,083 people on board.
“All this, together, stimulates the human imagination. Another divers, Thomas Zuara, said finding a German steamer and boxes of hitherto unknown contents on the floor of the Baltic Sea could be important to the whole story.”
The Amber Room was built in Prussia and then awarded to Peter the Great of Russia As a gift in 1716.
The Nazis dismantled it and took it to Konigsberg, and from there Disappeared during Allied raids on the city. Many believe it has been destroyed. Russian craftsmen built an exact replica of the room in Catherine Palace.