In a bunker near K�nigsberg

the city was the place of a decade long search...

One could beleive that the Amber Room remained in K�nigsberg, because eyewitnesses say that the director of the museum Dr. Alfred Rhode never left the city. He died there in December 1945, 14 days before his wife. Their son, Wolfgang Rohde, told us ten years later that his father assured him that he was not afraid of the Russians because he has a clean concious and wanted to give them hints about looted art.

Dr. Alfred Rohde talked about looted art form Minsk and Kiew, but not about the Amber Room. His son Wolfgang thought the Amber Room could still be in the cellars of the castle in K�nigsberg. He said he would know his father well enough to know that he would have never seperated from the Amber Room. First, this sounded logically.

Several people asked after l945 said that the boxes with the Amber Room would have still been seen at the restaurant "Blutgericht� in the castle. Eyewitness Alfred Feierabend, the former leader of the restaurant said he would know that the Amber Room was in the boxes.

There is a third eyewitness for this theory - the former Nazi-Gauleiter and Reichskommissar Erich Koch. In 1959, he was sentenced to death because of his crime against humanity and as a war criminal but later not executed because of his bad health condition.

Koch said in 1965 while interrogated by Polish authorities that the Amber Room was hidden in a bunker at the edge of the city in April l945. 1967, he said something similar. One says there is a document of March 4, 1945 where Koch complaints about the Amber Room not being evacuated yet.

One also says that there is a second document of Koch written to the Parteikanzlei or Hitler directly with suggestions of what to do with valuable artwork, the Amber Room, stocks, money and records of the Nazipartei still in K�nigsberg in 1945. Koch suggests to bring all into bunkers, but does not write where they are. After that letter, SS-Obersturmbannf�hrer Ringel came from Berlin with personal instructions of Hitler and Himmler. So the story...

None of the two could tell us where these documents are nor show us a copy of them. We strongly doubt that Koch would have advised to store them in bunkers while it was still possible to bring them out of K�nigsberg. This is why we doubt the existance of these letters and also because we can prove that Ringel was not sent to Koch with order from Hitler and Himmler.

However, there are reasons to investigate the bunker version a little further, because the possibilities there were endless. K�nigsberg was always military center and a castle from the first beginning.

In the 17th Century, a wall surrounded the city. In the 19th Century, the ring wall had a length of about 8 miles. Further out, in a distance of 6 miles from the city center, a ring of forts was built and each fort had many underground rooms. About 1242 room totaling 500000 sq. ft. adding to further bunkers built by the Nazis which completet the system.

In February of 1944 in Hitlers headquarters, one talked about the bomb prove cellars already. One suggested to check the defense buildings of K�nigsberg for their suitability to host treasure underground.

The underground room were very suitable to deposit the Amber Room. Especially the parts built in the 17th Century. They had turned into green areas and no one could ever guess that there are cellars under it with secret entrances, known only to people like Alfred Rohde. When Rohde came from Hamburg to K�nigsberg, he had to explore the history of the city and also investigated in the many underground installations with the help of the archives.

It is very likely that Rhode had visited some of the countless underground rooms to check out possibilities to store treasure. One says there was a letter of Rhode from September 1944 addressed to Geheimrat Dr. Zimmermann, where he writes: �The art collection and all you had given to me, is in good condition. It was in the bunker. We lost the key to the iron door, so we can not enter it for now." So it seems like Rohde had a bunker filled with artwork.

Today, all cellars and tunnels of the castle are known and have been searched for traces of the Amber Room and other artwork, but without a result. We found an original letter or Rhode where he talks about a bunker outside the castle where his biggest values are stored. Mrs. Ida Kr�ger, a former employee of the castle can confirm the existence as well and says it would be located in the botanical garden. She said that even the boxes with the Amber Room had been brought to the bunker and she was very sure because the inspector of the castle, Mr. Henkensiefken confirmed her memories in a conversation in 1971.

Of course, units of the Sovjet Army had checked all underground objects for art or weapon deposits after taking over K�nigsberg. Later on, special forces looking for looted artwork, performed again a very detailed and exact searching in K�nigsberg but the Amber Room remained lost...

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