Accordingto ABC News and other sources, Austrian nature experts are seeking a 99 year ban on diving in Lake Toplitz, which isrumoured to hold one of the last great secrets of World War II where countlesscrates filled with vast quantities of Nazi gold and other treasures.
Inthe spring of 1945, when Hitler’s Third Reich was beginning to tumble down, theNazis were looking for a perfect place to hide their most valuables — diamondsand gold worth millions, stolen art, and also documents detailing thewhereabouts of other Nazi treasures. WithUS troops closing in and Germanyon the brink of collapse, they transported the boxes to the edge of the lake,first by military vehicle and then by horse-drawn wagon, and sunk them. It is not known exactly what was inside. Somebelieve they contained gold looted by German troops throughout Europe andcarried back to Germany.Others that they contain documents showing where assets confiscated from Jewishvictims were hidden in Swiss bank accounts.
Thestate company which controls the lake, Bundesforste AG, previously signed acontract with Norman Scott, an American treasure hunter, who hoped to solve themystery. In 1963 the Austrian governmentimposed a ban on explorations after another diver, led to the lake by an SSofficer, drowned during an illegal dive. More recent expeditions have had mixedfortunes. In 1983 a German biologistaccidentally discovered more forged British pounds, numerous Nazi-era rocketsand missiles that had crashed into the lake, and a previously unknown worm.
Treasurehunters have been flocking to Lake Toplitz ever since agroup of diehard Nazis retreated to this picturesque part of the Austrian Alpsin the final months of the second world war. They believe that the real treasures remainwhere the Nazis allegedly sank them — on the bottom of the lake encrusted witha thick cover of logs and mud.
“Eachyear we’re catching at least 10 divers who come here hoping to discover theNazi fortune even though it is strictly forbidden,” says Bernhard Schragl,the spokesman for Bundesforste AG, the authority in charge of the area. The Bundesforste authority oversees Austria’s forests and Austria’swater authority, and have warned the government that the frequent dives are sodisruptive that they risk losing species from the lake, in the province of Styria.