Graphic shows details of the discovery.
GN40653

ARCHAEOLOGY

Have Polish divers found Peter the Great’s fabled Amber Room?

By Jordi Bou

October 7, 2020 - Polish divers claim to have found the wreck of a German World War II ship that may solve a decades-old mystery – the whereabouts of the fabled Amber Room, dubbed the eighth wonder of the world.

The 10-member Baltictech team of divers say they located the almost intact wreckage of the steamer SS Karlsruhe 88 metres under the Baltic Sea, north of Poland’s coastal resort of Ustka. Military vehicles, china and sealed chests were found in the ship’s hold, all in good condition.

The Karlsruhe was bombed by Soviet planes and sunk in April 1945, with the loss of hundreds of civilian and military lives.

The ship had been taking part in Operation Hannibal, one of the largest sea evacuations in history, which helped more than a million German troops and civilians from East Prussia escape the Soviet advance toward the end of the World War II.

The Amber Room was constructed in Prussia and given to Tsar Peter the Great of Russia in 1716 as a present.

Decorated with amber and gold, it was installed in the Catherine Palace near St Petersburg, but was looted by the Nazis and taken to Koenigsberg, then a Baltic port city in Germany but now the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

It was from Koenigsberg that the Karlsruhe steamer set sail on its doomed final voyage.

Baltictech is said to be awaiting official permission to raise the crates to the surface.

PUBLISHED: 07/10/2020; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Tomasz Stachura/Baltictech, Newscom
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