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Nazi shipwreck loaded with ‘mystery cargo’ could have carried £100million of Hitler’s gold with legendary ‘Amber Room’

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SOME of the most valuable items ever stolen by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis during WWII may today be lying beneath the waves of the Baltic Sea.

A stunning collection of gold worth £100million is believed to have sunk on board German ship MV Wilhelm Gustloff nearly 80 years ago.

Wilhelm Gustloff sank after being torpedoed by Soviet submarine S-13 in January 1945

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Wilhelm Gustloff sank after being torpedoed by Soviet submarine S-13 in January 1945Credit: Getty – Contributor
The Amber Room was one of Russia's most valuable works of art - until it was looted by Nazi Germany

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The Amber Room was one of Russia’s most valuable works of art – until it was looted by Nazi GermanyCredit: www.areasgrey.com
Adolf Hitler sent a detachment of soldiers to steal the Amber Room artefacts

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Adolf Hitler sent a detachment of soldiers to steal the Amber Room artefactsCredit: Getty

The Amber Room, also sometimes referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world” was one of Russia’s most treasured artefacts – until it was looted by Nazi Germany and lost forever.

It had been installed at the Berlin City Palace and gifted by Prussian King Frederick William I to the Russian Empire in the early 1700s.

Reinstalled at the summer home of the Imperial family at Catherine Palace in modern-day Pushkin, the room contained more than six tonnes of amber that would today be worth about £240million.

Hitler believed the works to be of German origin and set out to take it back, sending a detachment of soldiers to loot the artefacts.

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The room was dismantled and taken to Königsberg Castle, in present-day Kaliningrad in Russia, where it remained on display for two years.

As the tide of war turned in the Allies’ favour, Hitler ordered that the goods be moved once again.

Some unconfirmed eyewitnesses claimed to have seen the Amber Room being loaded onto the Wilhelm Gustloff.

The gold was said to have been stashed in Hitler’s personal suite, which doubled as a strong room, and placed under armed guard.

Nazi officers allegedly tried to smuggle three tonnes of stolen gold bars, now worth £100million, out of Germany on the ship.

But Wilhelm Gustloff never reached its intended destination and was sunk by the Soviets on January 30, 1945.

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An estimated 9,400 people of a total 10,600 on board the ship were killed, making it the largest loss of life in a single ship sinking.

The disaster was six times worse than the Titanic.

Former professional diver Phil Sayers met a survivor of the sunken vessel, Rudi Lange, who supposedly revealed the ship’s secret.

Then-17-year-old Rudi, the ship’s radio operator, was said to have witnessed crates of the Nazi gold being loaded onto Wilhelm Gustloff at a port in Poland, Daily Star reported in 2019.

Rudi was reportedly the person who sent the SOS signal after the 700ft liner was torpedoed by Soviet submarine S-13.

Mr Sayers dived the wreck in 1988 and found that the ship had completely collapsed, meaning any gold on the ship would now likely be buried beneath thousands of tonnes of crumpled metal.

The Brit, from Essex, salvaged a pair of portholes from the wreck, which he later realised had metal bars across it, suggesting it could have been the window to the strong room where the gold was kept.

He told Daily Star: “We know from first-hand accounts a whole load of lorries turned up alongside and transferred a cargo of high security on board on the ship.

“This is all from accounts with survivors on the night before they set sail.

“Rudi Lange went down onto the quayside to have a smoke and just happened to be there when the gold bullion transport arrived.

“He did not know what was being taken on at first, but it was not until 1972 when he met up with another survivor – who was one of the guards who had been tasked with looking after the gold and he revealed what was in those huge cases.”

Mr Sayers said polish treasure-hunters “blew apart” parts of the ship while searching for the fortune.

Wilhelm Gustloff, originally a luxury cruise ship, was turned into a hospital ship during WWII and then used in a mass evacuation from Prussia as the Soviet Union’s Red Army advanced in 1945.

It now has international war grave status so diving near it is forbidden – although pirates have attempted to raid the wreck.

MV Wilhelm Gustloff, the German KdF flagship from 1937 to 1945

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MV Wilhelm Gustloff, the German KdF flagship from 1937 to 1945Credit: Getty – Contributor
The Amber Room in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near Saint Petersburg

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The Amber Room in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near Saint PetersburgCredit: Alamy
The helm of the SMS Marfgraf, a WWI German battleship scuttled on the Orkney seabed

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The helm of the SMS Marfgraf, a WWI German battleship scuttled on the Orkney seabedCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
A person dives near the porthole on the SMS Konig

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A person dives near the porthole on the SMS KonigCredit: SWNS:South West News Service

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