Nazi treasure: The ever-elusive myth

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Front Lines
Stephen J thorne

Cpl. Donald R. Ornitz/American Commission For the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments In War Areas/Wikimedia

Nazi treasure: The ever-elusive myth


A story broke recently that purported to divulge a long-lost secret surrounding four German soldiers who buried a cache of ammunition cases laden with treasure as they fled advancing Allied forces in the Netherlands in 1945.

The location of this cache of coins, watches, jewelry, diamonds and other gems supposedly worth more than C$25 million has been a mystery for almost 80 years. German soldiers stole the hoard from a broken bank vault in Arnhem during the final year of the war and buried it in ammunition boxes as they fled.

Recently, among a pile of documents released by the Netherlands national archives, a treasure map has been found with an X evidently marking the spot where the treasure lies buried in what is now a field.


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 Northern BC Archives & Special Collections

Canada’s attempt to become the ultimate Arctic warrior


“Generals January and February mount guard for the Canadian people all year round,” historian Charles P. Snow opined in 1940, to general agreement and relief. The Second World War was to change that opinion.

Adolph Hitler sent more than three million troops to invade Russia on June 22, 1941, mistakenly believing Russia would capitulate to his blitzkrieg as quickly as western European nations at the beginning of the war.



E.J. Hughes attended the Vancouver School of Art from 1929-1935, and was recognized as the most talented artist of his generation on the West Coast. But the Great Depression made an art career impossible at that time. Reflecting on the years he had enjoyed as a cadet, he enlisted in the army on Aug. 30, 1939, just days before the commencement of the Second World War.

Hughes had joined the artillery, but almost from the start he had higher ambitions. Through his teachers, Fred Varley and Charles H. Scott, Hughes was aware of the War Art Program of the First World War, and he began writing to his superiors, asking for a role as a war artist. At the time, there was no war art program, but early in 1941 he was posted to Ottawa as one of the first three “service artists” in the Canadian Army.



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