A Dutch filmmaker has organized a series of digs for lost Nazi riches in a small Bavarian town -- spurred by a sheet of music some claim is actually a coded treasure map.
Spiegel Online reports Leon Giesen, 51, has led three attempts in recent weeks to unearth the rumored buried loot in Mittenwald, near the Austrian border – after the town’s officials signed off on the hunt.
The strange sequence centers on the recent public revelation of an annotated score of the “March Impromptu,” a piece of music by composer Gottfried Federlein, the news agency reports.
"It's like a treasure map that can't be deciphered."
- Jürgen Proske, a German historian
According to Spiegel Online, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ordered his private secretary, Martin Bormann, during the final days of World War II to imbed a series of letters, figures and runes on the sheet music that would, when deciphered, lend the coordinates to a horde of buried treasure.
A military chaplain was then reportedly ordered to squire the score to someone in Munich – but it never arrived.
Decades later, Dutch journalist Karl Hammer Kaatee came into possession of the document. Then, in December – and after repeated unsuccessful attempts at cracking the code – Kaatee made the score public to much fanfare overseas, according to Spiegel Online.
"It's like a treasure map that can't be deciphered," Jürgen Proske, a German historian, told the news agency.
Now, Giesen believes he’s finally uncovered the solution to the sheet music’s alleged mysterious code.
The Dutch filmmaker reportedly believes a line added to the score that reads, “Wo Matthias die Saiten Streichelt," or “where Matthew plucks strings," actually refers to Mittenwald and one-time resident Matthias Klotz, who purportedly founded the town’s renowned violin-making tradition.
Also, Spiegel Online writes Giesen says the sheet music contains a schematic diagram of train tracks that once ran through Mittenwald in the 1940s, and that the chopped sentence, “Enden der Tanz," which means "end the dance" -- located at the conclusion of the score -- means the treasure can be found at the former site of the rail line's buffer stops.
And – eerily – early digs have reportedly revealed a large quantity of unidentified metals, which Giesen cites geologists as describing as an, “anomaly, a substance that doesn’t belong there.”
The Dutchman is now looking to raise the requisite funds to continue the dig, according to Spiegel Online.
Proske, though, has his doubts, reportedly saying, "It could be a treasure chest. But it could just be a manhole cover."
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