Rudi Schlattner and his family fled their home in Czechoslovakia after World War II came to a close. As they escaped the encroaching Soviets, they were forced to leave all that they had behind and start anew.
Rudi, now well into his 80s, went back to his old home with his family for the first time in decades. The house had since been made into a kindergarten, and there were many changes that made the place nearly unrecognizable.
But Rudi still believed that he would find what his father had left behind before they left: a hidden treasure lying dormant in the house.
This is what the house looks like today. Rudi Schlattner grew up here as a child, but he is now in his 80s, and the building has seen lots of new uses since the Schlattner family once lived there.
Rudi wanted to visit the house to see what it looked like and hopefully find some long-hidden valuables. Even though the building was now a kindergarten, he held out hope.
Rudi went to the attic, and was able to locate a loose board with a string attached to it — something no one noticed for decades. He had special knowledge of what was left there in the past.
Rudi carefully loosened the board, and hoped that what he thought was there would still remain. As luck would have it, behind that board lay a whole heap of items that Rudi’s family left behind.
Rudi’s family had to leave quickly because of the Soviets invading their area, but before they fled, Rudi’s father left them there with hopes of returning later.
Despite the tiny space, they found all of this still lying there. Can you believe that much fit inside such a small space?
Employees at a nearby museum in Usti nad Labem came over to look at the discovery, and they started going through them, one by one.
There were a lot of items to go through, like old toys that Rudi and his siblings played with. Can you imagine having to flee your home and leave all of your belongings behind?
Every item was an important reminder of his and his family’s past, but Rudi knew he couldn’t take everything back with him.
Each of these objects is not only a reminder of the life Rudi left behind, but they are also priceless artifacts from a bygone era. What looks like ordinary sewing supplies is actually a group of objects that can never be recreated. Just wait to see what else they found in the attic…
Museum employee Tomas Okura was taken aback by the find. “We were surprised that so many ordinary things were hidden there.”
“Thanks to the circumstances, these objects have a very high historical value.”
They had their work cut out for them.
Everything was worth looking at. Even this umbrella.
These tiny pieces of metal held some significance.
I wonder what’s inside here.
An old scale.
Maybe they had too much work ahead of them.
The value of these paintings are still being determined.
Rudi had to report his finds to the Czech government, but he didn’t mind. He was just happy to have this slice of his family history back, and to reclaim all that he lost in the war. Rudi’s belongings are just a few of the countless fascinating items from that time period to see…
Rudi’s discovery might have been full of valuable items, but there are so many other artifacts of the Second World War out there, too! Few are as strange as this carrier pigeon, with the coded message still attached, which was found in a chimney in England.
Years after the end of the war, over 1500 pieces of art were found in a Munich apartment. They were worth billions, and were from renowned artists such as Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, and Chagall.
Found three miles beneath the surface, the wreck of a British merchant ship that was sunk in 1941 off the coast of Ireland was home to quite the find. Specifically, a haul of 61 tons of silver worth about $36 million. It contained 1,574 silver ingots, and weighed a total of about 1.8 million ounces.
Not all artifacts uncovered from World War II are so valuable, though. One time, a German bomb that had been buried underground for decades was struck by a digger. The explosion killed the dig driver and injured eight others.
A German U-550 submarine wreck was eventually found 70 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts. The sub had attacked the gasoline tanker USS Pan Pennsylvania in 1944, but it was then sunk by the USS Joyce. Where it had sunk was a mystery for nearly 70 years.
It’s amazing that Rudi was able to find his house still standing and his father’s items still in tact, and those other artifacts were discovered so long after the war. It makes you wonder how many other treasures are waiting to be found around the globe!