World War II ended in September of 1945, bringing several years of combat, destruction, and loss to a tragic conclusion. Even 70 years later, however, people are still uncovering remnants of this terrible time in history. Recently, a discovery was made in the rural Nevsky Pyatachok region of Russia that sheds new light on the war.
During an archaeological dig, historians found a lock box encased in mud. It was so caked in dirt, in fact, that no one could tell what it could possibly contain—nor did they have any idea just how surprised they would be once they found out. When they finally cracked it open, they realized that what was hidden inside should have probably remained locked up.
The story that really sums up the Leningrad fight for survival is the story that takes place on this tiny patch of land called Nevsky Pyatachok, which saw some of the fiercest battles of the war, if not ever.
A recent archaeological dig in the rural Nevsky Pyatachok region of Russia revealed a mysterious, World War II-era lock box buried in thick mud, along with other Nazi paraphernalia.
The box was also extremely heavy. Whatever was inside certainly seemed important enough at one point in time in order for someone to bury it that far deep into the ground!
The box was buried so deep, in fact, that it was unbelievable to think that it could’ve been the work of just one person. Perhaps the topography of the land had changed due to erosion or mud slides after it was hidden away? Another possibility: the area could’ve been attacked by a grenade or another explosive during the war.
It looked just like a real treasure chest, except with more mud caked onto it. How long has it been underground like that? And more importantly, what in the world could be inside? It looked like there was some kind of etching in the side, but it was impossible to see what it read.
Once the archeologists cracked open the box, they were stunned. It was like taking a step back in time: inside, perfectly preserved, were the contents of someone’s life from 70 years ago. The items could have belonged to anyone, and their pristine condition amazed everyone who participated in the dig.
They discovered a German Reichsmark, which was a form of currency used between 1924 and 1948. There was also a card that seemed to identify a member of the Nazi party. It became clear that the lock box contained the personal belongings of a soldier fighting for Germany. But why would he bury his possessions underground?
As the archeologists rummaged around in the lock box, they discovered clothing, shoes, papers, and scraps of newspaper. Surprisingly, the newspaper clippings were still crisp and didn’t look weathered at all—a testament to the sealed box that contained them. This truly was a time capsule from World War II.
Also among the items inside was a box of cigars that were clearly untouched. Whoever buried these things had probably just purchased the cigars, too, as their box was completely full and still wrapped in its original paper. The archeologists who discovered them must have felt enchanted by all these items!
Apparently, the owner of the lock box really enjoyed smoking cigars. A second box of smokes was uncovered, and it, too, was untouched. Perhaps this German soldier was convinced his side would win the war and wanted to celebrate? He seemed to carry all his vices with him. No wonder the box was so heavy when archeologists first found it…
Two handles of Jamaican rum were packed inside as well. While the lock box certainly revealed its owner’s preferences, there were no clues about what happened to the man, or why his things were buried the way that they were. The rum was unopened, just like both boxes of cigars.
The archeologists also discovered the German soldier’s cap. Tattered and frayed, it had clearly seen battle. The hat had definitely belonged to a Nazi soldier, but what happened to the man who wore it was still unclear. His story may never be told, but it’s safe to say he was no longer with us.
The Nazi’s jacket was inside too, and it was completely untouched. Either this man had never worn it, or it had just been washed when he buried it along with the rest of his possessions. He could have buried all this for a number of reasons.
ethan_kahn / reddit
The most amazing artifact by far was this identification tag, because it could be used to track down the owner of these items as well as the story behind them. It looked like it didn’t say the owner’s entire name, however. How would anyone even start going about a search for the owner?
ethan_kahn / reddit
Other artifacts were also found on the ancient battlefield. Such as this pistol and other weapons that were also scattered around.
An other, rustier version of the pistol was also found not far from the site, along with many other relics.
Among the mess that was left behind, the diggers also discovered more artifacts that remained untouched since the war.
These old license plates clearly belonged to the SS fighters in the area.
By the end of the war the Nazis lost and did what they could to get rid of and hide as many of these artifacts as they could.
Rusty helmets, work tools, cans and other scraps were all collected and arranged together to help them tell their story.
There’s some dispute as to whether these items are genuine or not, but if they are, they’d be worth a good bit of money. You just have to wonder why these were buried in the first place…