Many people still looking for alleged Nazi treasure near Ommeren
Despite an appeal by the municipality of Buren, many people dug near Ommeren on Saturday for a treasure allegedly buried there by German soldiers at the end of World War II.
According to a spokesperson for the municipality of Buren, which includes Ommeren, many people started to dig mainly on private property. "We don't think that’s okay, of course," the spokesperson said.
Fines have not (yet) been imposed and the police as well as special investigating officers (boa) have only issued warnings. "Most people left after that," the spokesperson said. However, the municipality was not able to provide the exact number of people who came to the treasure hunt.
Since October, the municipality has had a ban on using or carrying a metal detector or any other item to detect metal objects without an exemption. A metal detector is therefore not allowed in the area, "but we can't use a boa or an officer in the entire area."
It is expected that Sunday will remain calm, but officers and boas will continue to patrol the area, according to the spokesperson. On Monday, the municipality will discuss whether additional measures are needed.
According to tradition, the treasure contains jewelry, precious stones, gold watches and coins. These had been buried in ammunition boxes by German soldiers after they found them in Arnhem. The valuables were blown out of a safe in an Arnhem bank during the violent war.
This week, the National Archives unveiled a real treasure map with the location marked with a cross. The treasure map immediately received a lot of media attention.
Residents initially thought it was a nice story, but for "a lot of residents, it's turning out to be a little less nice now," the spokesperson claimed. "It's going in the wrong direction for them." According to the spokesperson, there was contact with residents whose properties have been dug up.
The municipality of Buren previously reported that experts pointed out that the area is close to the front line from World War II. "Searching there is dangerous because of possible unexploded bombs, land mines or grenades. Therefore, we do not recommend searching for the Nazi treasure," wrote the municipality on its website.
However, it is unlikely that anything will be found. After the war, several frantic but unsuccessful searches were made for the treasures, also with detectors in the wider area. The original source of the story, a furniture maker from Baden-Baden who was active in Velp as a parachutist for the German army, was still involved in 1947 to give the Dutch authorities instructions. But the efforts were in vain. The question is now, whether his story was a fabrication or whether others dug up the treasures.
Reporting by ANP