In the latest revelations about the Nazi gold train hidden in Poland, an 85-year-old local man has described murder, secret police intimidation and a deathbed confession as the hunt for the fabled treasure trove of war booty continues.
Tadeusz Slowikowski asserts he knows the train's location and the identity of the two men who claimed to have found it a fortnight ago, as well as the identity of the man who, it is believed, confessed to its location on his deathbed.
Slowikowski says he heard about the train during the 1950s. In an interview with MailOnline he said: "I became aware of the tunnel after saving a German man named Schulz from being attacked by two men. As gratitude for saving him, he told me about the tunnel."
Schulz told him that he was working on the Polish railways after the Second World War when another German man told him about the mystery. "He saw two tracks leading into the tunnel, " Slowikowski explained. "The tunnel was blocked up very shortly afterwards."
The unnamed German railway worker also revealed the associated murder of a local family. Slowikowski displayed a wartime photograph showing a man and two young boys outside a house. "This house used to overlook the track," he said. "From the top window you could see everything coming and going on the railway line. On the 5th of May 1945, the family living there were all shot dead and the house razed to the ground. It was three days before the Soviets took the town. Whoever killed them didn't want them talking about anything they had seen."
The German railway worked told Schulz what he had seen on his deathbed and this information was passed onto Slowikowski. Slowikowski owns a map dating from 1928 which shows a siding entering the hillside near Walbrzych. He was given official permission in 2003 to explore the area in search of the train. Then he received threats:
"As soon as we started, three men in civilian clothes and carrying guns came up to us and threatened us, telling us to stop. I didn't know who they were, but I had my suspicions.
"Shortly afterwards my dog was poisoned. Then my front door was smashed in and then my phones began to be tapped. These were classic tactics of the secret police when they wanted to intimidate people."
Meanwhile, Walbrzych mayor, Roman Szelemej said forestry guards have sealed off the area where the train, believed to contain fabulous art treasures looted by the Third Reich, is thought to be hidden.
Szelemej said the authorities continued to treat the claims with "scepticism", but added "Walbrzych and Lower Silesia are full of secrets". He announced that the army will check the area - there are fears that the train may be booby-trapped with explosives. As well as the army, personnel from Poland's Internal Security Service (ABW), have arrived in the locality, leading to conjecture that secret Nazi documents may be among the train's contents.