Sappers help to open treasure boxes found in a basement in Wałbrzych

TVN24 News in English,
Skarb znaleziony w wałbrzyskiej kamienicy. Otwarto trzy metalowe skrzynie
Skarb znaleziony w wałbrzyskiej kamienicy. Otwarto trzy metalowe skrzynieTVN24
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TVN24A treasure found in a basement. Three metal boxes have been opened

Three metal boxes, discovered in a basement of a tenement house in Wałbrzych, have been opened with the help of firefighters and sappers. Inside the boxes they have found mainly clothes, but also a portrait of Adolf Hitler. Conservators have an idea who might have hidden their belongings in the welded boxes. "The woman was most likely a tailor, whereas the man owned a metalworks business," they say.

According to experts, the items found in the basement of a tenement house in Wałbrzych belonged to a number of families - neighbours and residents of the building - who in the spring of 1945, expecting the frontline to move towards the city, decided to leave behind some of their important things they could not take with them. They took time and effort to make sure their belongings would be well preserved.

One of the families decided to hide their precious things in the three metal, welded boxes.

firefighters and sappers were employed to open the metal containers. They checked the boxes with special cameras.

"It turned out that the boxes were filled with clothes and accessories. There are men's suits, women's clothes, sewing accessories," said Anna Nowakowska of Wałbrzych branch of the Voivodeship Historic Preservation Office. She added that a hypothesis regarding the owners was formed based on their belongings. "The woman was most likely a tailor, whereas the man owned a metalworks business," she explained, adding that all items came from the WWII period, were perfectly preserved and very unique in terms of museal value.

One of the boxes contained a portrait of Adolf Hitler.

Sappers helped to open treasure boxes found in a basement in WałbrzychWałbrzych City Hall

Burst pipe led to the discovery

The discovery was made some two weeks ago thanks to a burst pipe in the basement of the tenement house at 1 Kuracyjna Street. Trying to locate the leak, the repair team came across a secret, bricked-in room that no one knew existed. What they saw inside stupefied them. Among the items they found was glass, porcelain, crockery, family heirlooms, photo albums, and plenty of everyday use objects, mainly from the 1940s. All marked and catalogued.

"There was no daylight where the items were kept. It was a windowless basement with wooden shelves and racks. Everything well preserved, wrapped in newspapers, sealed in jars or coated with sawdust. There was really a lot of this stuff, we had to take it away in quite a large truck. We can clearly see what filled the everyday life of people decades, or even a hundred years ago, and what was important for them. The historical value of this discovery is immense," said Jacek Drajer, director of the Porcelain Museum in Wałbrzych.

As of December 1, 80% of the finds have been examined and catalogued.

A treasure found in a basement. Three metal boxes have been openedWałbrzych City Hall

Wałbrzych mayor: still plenty to discover in Lower Silesia

"This is a historical evidence depicting life in those, we believe, wartimes in Wałbrzych. We are perfectly aware that Lower Silesia and Wałbrzych, as well as Wałbrzyskie Mountains and Owl Mountains are still places yet to be discovered," said Wałbrzych Mayor Roman Szelemiej.

It remains unknown what will happen to the found items. The body responsible for securing the finds is Wałbrzych City Hall. It is possible that, once the inventory has been completed, a search for heirs will begin.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English,

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: UM Wałbrzych

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