Nov 22, 2011

Gold coins jar found in a garden

A JAR of gold coins dug up in a garden 70 years after it was hidden from the Nazis is set to sell for £80,000. Jewish refugees who fled Germany for England before the start of World War Two buried the hoard outside their London home when they feared a Nazi invasion. Tragically, the family was later killed by a direct hit during an air raid in the Blitz and relatives couldn’t find the treasure. Having spent nearly 70 years in the ground, the so-called “Hackney Hoard” of US Double Eagle gold coins was discovered in 2007 when Terence Castle dug a frog pond in the garden of a residential care home. Honest Mr Castle notified the British Museum of his find and an inquest later ruled the gold should be returned to its rightful owner. Banker Martin Sulzbacher fled Germany for London in the 1930s in terror of the Nazis. But he was declared an “enemy alien” and sent abroad – leaving the coins in a bank. When the Blitz started in 1940, Martin’s brother decided to stash the loot somewhere safer and buried it in two glass jars in his garden in Hackney, East London. Tragically he and four other members of the family were later killed in a direct hit by a German bomb. Martin returned to the UK in 1942 but he had no idea where the missing coins were. One of the jars was found soon after the war ended and sold but the other remained a mystery until Mr Castle started to dig his pond. Amazingly, a neighbour remembered the publicity when the first jar was found and Martin’s son Max Sulzbacher, now 81, was traced.Read More.