San Diego, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/26/2012 -- Late afternoon on April 25, 1945 a "spotter" aircraft, surveying damage done in Germany's Berchtesgaden/Obersalzberg area by British Lancaster bombers, observed a labor camp near Adolf Hitler's mountain home, the Berghof.
The American 910th Mobile Antiaircraft/Tank Battalion, attached to the 101st Airborne Division, was notified and given the assignment of locating and freeing the camp's inmates.
Robert Thomas, a World War II veteran and war historian, relates what happened next. "The American military unit located the camp, pulled off the locked gate, and freed the starving prisoners. One English speaking inmate was so grateful for his freedom that he told of work on an underground vault behind Nazi deputy Hermann Goring's home."
According to Thomas the inmate had briefly changed places with his brother days before. When the work was finished all the laborers were killed—except him, as no one realized that he had also seen the site.
After informing the Americans he offered to personally show them the compound's various buildings. The Goring vault area, covered over with grass and trees, soon yielded its secrets to a bulldozer.
Photos of some of the war trophies found within, plus a 145-piece silverware set once owned by Hitler's mistress Eva Braun and now on sale to collectors, can be viewed at Thomas' website http://www.theberghof.net