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« on: August 15, 2009, 11:43:10 pm »
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Secrets of an Austrian Lake

For years after the end of the Second World War, strong and persistent rumours connected Lake Toplitz, in the Austrian Alps, with Nazi treasure. Many individuals searched its chilly depths and one diver was killed. It was not until 1963 that a properly equipped salvage operation was mounted. It was sponsored by a German illustrated magazine. The salvors operated from a raft moored in the middle of the lake. They used television cameras and underwater lamps to probe the murky depths. After several days, during which the diving platform was moved by stages across the surface of the water, some objects were seen amoung the mud and rocks of thelake bottom. They appered to be crates at first sight.

Frogmen went down and soon the first of the boxes, rotten but still complete, was brought to the surface. What was in it - gold bars, antique silver, uncut gems? No, as the lid was prised off the treasure-hunters found themselves gazing down at bundles of paper. They were banknotes - British five-pound notes of the type in circulation during the 1940s. They were large, austerely printed black on white, and their total face value ran into several milion pounds.
What was British currency doing at the bottom of an Austrian lake? The answer revals on of the more bizarre pieces of Nazi strategy. During the war they made many excellent forgeries of British and American banknotes. They were to be used as ammunition in a form of economic warfare. The theory was that if they could be smuggled into the Allied homelands in sufficient quantities and circulated there, they would undermine the economic system, causing such chaos that the supply of armaments would be considerably hampered. The scheme would have been very difficult to put into operation and it is probably for this reason that it was abandoned. Nevertheless it is said that not all secrets of LakeToplitzare revealed yet.

Unfortunately it won't be easy to make another attemp to reveal the remaining secrets as diving in Lake Toplitz is strictly forbidden nowadays.


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