A young German soldier poses proudly with his parents in a crumpled and torn old photograph. But this particular snapshot holds a secret that could unlock a 60-year-old mystery – the whereabouts of a fabled hoard of looted Nazi gold worth £20million.
For scrawled in fading blue ink on the back of the photo is a code which investigators hope will pinpoint Rommel's Treasure – a cache of ingots, jewellery and works of art hidden by the SS as they retreated at the end of the war.
Terry Hodgkinson, the British investigator leading the chase for the treasure, said: 'We have now worked out the code and are pretty confident of where the treasure is. We feel certain that the latest techniques can be used to retrieve it.'
He believes the co-ordinates refer to a point less than a mile off a tourist beach close to the
Mr Hodgkinson would confirm only that he would be searching an area just off Marana beach – where hundreds of holidaymakers top up their tans completely oblivious to the fact that the key to one of the greatest mysteries of the Third Reich might be just a few hundred yards away.
The hoard was amassed by fanatical SS units operating alongside Rommel's Afrika Korps. It is believed to be made up of 440lb of gold bullion and other precious objects looted from Jews in
The Germans stashed the loot on
Under French law, the proceeds from the treasure would be split between the state and those who found it. But the French would also try to find any surviving relatives of those stripped of their gold.
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