Treasure hunters in western Poland have finally started a long-awaited dig for a Nazi-era train that legend says is buried inside a tunnel and carries looted gems. Mana Rabiee reports.
The dig that's underway in western Poland is DECADES in the making. Local legend says a mysterious Nazi train carrying gems plundered from Jews entered a tunnel here in 1945. It was moving away from the advancing Soviet Red Army -- and NEVER emerged. Now, Polish treasure hunter Andrzej Galik and his German partner in the dig have finally secured the permit to start excavating. (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) SPOKESPERSON FOR TREASURE HUNTERS, ANDRZEJ GALIK, SAYING: "We have to find a railway track, probably the entrance to a railway tunnel. And if the tunnel exists, there should be a train there." The men are focusing on three sites along rail tracks outside the city of Walbrzych (WHAL-brih-ZHICH. They're hoping controlled explosions will gain access to the train underground ... and unveil a "time capsule" from a critical flashpoint in European history. (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) SPOKESPERSON FOR TREASURE HUNTERS, ANDRZEJ GALIK, SAYING: "Something from that era, from the period of World War Two. This really causes great emotions, we are counting on a great success." Skeptics aside, the treasure hunters hope to make this site a tourist attraction once the mystery train IS found. The World Jewish Congress insists any treasure that IS unearthed must be returned to the families the Nazis stole them from.