22.2.2011 Treasure hidden from the Nazis, grandson sells dishes at auction

Categories: War treasures , Calendar

During World War II, a wealthy Prussian family buried a treasure in the woods to escape the Nazis. The beautiful plates, cutlery and candlesticks were auctioned off 11 years ago. The artefacts were expected to sell for £15,000. They were discovered by the son of the original owner.

The man came to the UK at the end of the war but returned to the site where the treasure was hidden twenty years later. He dug in the dead of night with a spade to find the objects hidden by his father so he could take them back to England. Later the treasure, which consisted of plates, cutlery and candlesticks, was offered for sale.

The auction was expected to fetch at least fifteen thousand pounds. The collection was assembled by the aristocrat and Polish citizen Alexander Maximillian Desiderius Miechowski, who lived in Mateuszek in East Prussia. He lived on a huge estate with his German wife and their two children. He used the valuable silver for his daily meals.

When the Second World War broke out, the Germans arrived on his estate. He refused to support them in any way, being an opponent of Nazism. However, the Germans forcibly occupied his home, where they set up a headquarters for the army and buried the silver.

He survived the war, although his wife was sent to a Russian concentration camp and escaped to Berlin. His son Alexander fled to England in 1945 after serving in the German army. Fearing further trouble, the family left the silver buried until 1963, when Alexander went back to dig up the treasure.

"It's an absolutely extraordinary story. I vividly remember being woken up at night and walking with a lit torch into the nearby woods where I witnessed the amazing sight of my father digging for the treasure. He was advised where to look by people who worked on my grandfather's estate. They kept this secret for several years, despite having difficulties themselves and living in poverty," said Alexander's son Martin Miechowski.

"It was amazing. It was an adventure that every little boy could dream of - finding real buried treasure. After my grandfather died, my father defacto inherited the collection of dishes. My father worked as a farm laborer. We lived in a cottage. Silverware was too flashy for us to use every day. I remember that sometimes we brought out the precious crockery at Christmas, but most of it was wrapped in boxes and hidden in the attic," Martin Miechowski recalled.

The collection included serving bowls, candle holders, glasses, cream jugs, coasters, teapots, coffee holders, anddinky, knives, forks, spoons, knife pads, tray, basket, letter opener, sugar bowl and fruit basket.

Sources: www.dailymail.co.uk

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Moc pěknej příběh ;-)

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