Listed are 5 unsolved mysteries or perhaps better said, “enduring riddles” of World War II. Even after 70 years of research, these still have not been solved and we might never get to know the answer. The answers may be simple but aren’t proven, one way or another.
1. What happened to the crew of the US Navy blimp L-8 that caused them to disappear without a trace?
It was August 16, 1942, around 0603 hours in the morning, when US Navy blimp L-8 took off from Treasure Island, San Francisco Bay to conduct an anti-submarine patrol of the coast of California. The crew consisted out of Lieutenant Ernest DeWitt Cody, the pilot, and Ensign Charles E. Adams.
An hour and a half into the patrol, Lt. Cody radioed that he and Adams had located a possible oil slick in the water and would go out and investigate. Three hours later the blimp came ashore just south of San Francisco, eight miles off course.
The blimp struck a cliff on Ocean Beach, knocking off one of its two depth charges from its rack and fell to the ground. After it continued drifting further inward, it finally plummeted to the ground in Daly City. After various people went to the crash site in order to help any of the survivors, they were stunned, as the doors were open and nobody was in the cabin.
Several possible explanations were given including that one of them went out to repair something on the blimp, the other one went to assist, and they both fell out or they spotted a Japanese sub, lowered to investigate, and were captured.
2. What happened to the “Amber Room”?
It was described as the “Eighth wonder of the world” and is certainly the most unique missing treasure in history. The creation of the Amber Room begun in 1701 in Prussia and was created for Prussia’s King Friedrich I.
It was an 11-foot-square hall consisting of large wall panels inlaid with several tons of superbly designed amber, large gold-leaf-edged mirrors, and four magnificent Florentine mosaics. Arranged in three tiers, the amber contained precious jewels, and glass display cases housed one of the most valuable collections of Prussian and Russian artwork.
In 1716, the Amber Room, was given as a gift to the Russian czar Peter the Great by King Friedrich I’s son in order to forge a Russo-Prussian alliance. It was moved to Catherine Palace, near St. Petersburg. In 1941, the Germans stormed Leningrad, disassembled the Amber Room within 36 hour and put it on display in Königsberg Castle.
However, in April of 1945, the treasure was nowhere to be found. According to various sources, the Amber Room was destroyed during the bombing of Königsberg, however several others claim it was saved and hidden underground.
3. Who betrayed Jean Moulin and Anne Frank?
Moulin was taken to Montluc Prison in Lyon, where he was subjected to torture in order to reveal information by Klaus Barbie. Jean Moulin died on a train that was heading to a concentration camp in Germany. Jean Moulin was one of the organizers of the French Resistance and was captured on June 21, 1943, after someone had alerted the local Gestapo that a meeting would take place of Resistance leaders in Caluire, others say the Gestapo followed one of the Resistance’s members. Gestapo stormed the meeting, arresting Moulin and other senior resistance leaders.
Still today, no one was able to figure out who betrayed Jean Moulin. Some pointed their finger to a junior member named Rene Hardy, who was reported to be either reckless or a traitor however he was found innocent in two trials. Other suggest it may have been Raymond Aubrac, a fellow Resistance leader of Moulin or his wife.
Anne Frank, a 15-year old girl, would eventually grow to possibly one of the most famous victims of the German Endlösung (“Holocaust”). Anne Frank’s journal, “The Diary of a Young Girl“, consists of her writings while she was in hiding for two years with her family during World War II, and has affected many people.
It was on the morning of August 4, 1944, following a tip from an informer who has never been identified, that Frank, her family and the family that hid them were arrested. They were sent to various concentration camps. Anne Frank and her sister, Margot Frank, were transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Both sisters would lose their lives here. Only her father, Otto Frank, would survive the concentration camps. It’s still unknown who betrayed the Frank family; some believe it was Miep Braams, who was the girlfriend of a Dutch resistance member.
4. What really happened to Raoul Wallenberg?
In January 1945, after Soviet forces advanced through Eastern Europe and launched their offensive against Budapest, Raoul Wallenberg was arrested by the Red Army for suspicion of espionage. Whatever happened to him afterwards remains a mystery. Raoul Gustaf Wallenberg has been subjected to numerous humanitarian honors in the decades following his presumed death as he saved up to 60,000 Hungarian Jews from ending up in a concentration camp, offering them fake passports and shelter, as well as providing food. However the Germans weren’t the ones who would eventually capture him.
Although the Soviet government claim he died in prison on July 17, 1947 after releasing a document in 1957, which stated: “”I report that the prisoner Wallenberg who is well-known to you, died suddenly in his cell this night, probably as a result of a heart attack or heart failure. Pursuant to the instructions given by you that I personally have Wallenberg under my care, I request approval to make an autopsy with a view to establishing cause of death… I have personally notified the minister and it has been ordered that the body be cremated without autopsy.”
Some believe he was executed in his cell, was poisoned with C-2 or even that he was beaten to death, while others claim that he was still alive in 1987. His fate still remains a mystery, all what is known for sure is that he disappeared after January 17, 1945. He allegedly was arrested by the Soviets because of his connection with U.S. Intelligence.
5. Rudolf Hess’ flight to Scotland, and what are the circumstances of his death?
He was taken to the headquarters from a local Home Guard unit. After revealing his true identity to a Wing Commander of the RAF, he also outlined the reason of his flight. Hess hoped to arrange peace talks with the Duke of Hamilton. It was May 10, 1941, when Rudolf Hess flew solo to Scotland. Instead of landing the plane, he jumped out with a parachute and was captured immediately upon hitting the ground. Identifying him as Hauptmann Alfred Horn, and saying that he had an important message for Duke of Hamilton.
However since 1946, more than twenty books dealing with the Deputy Führer’s mysterious ‘peace mission’ have appeared in print and even more conspiracies arise. Did Hitler know of Hess’ flight to Scotland? After the news, Adolf Hitler described his Deputy as a madman who made the decision to fly to Scotland entirely on his own, without his knowledge or authority. Though Hess’ adjutant Karlheinz Pinsch, wrote down in his memories, that after hearing the news Hitler remained calmed and acted like he already knew.
So did Hitler’s most loyal servant act on behalf on Adolf Hitler or on his own? What were the real facts behind his flight? Another mystery related to Rudolf Hess involves his death. According to the official statement, Hess hung himself with an electrical cord on August 17, 1987 at the age of 93.
However many conspiracies arise as why Rudolf Hess committed suicide at the age of 93 after being interned for 46 years. Some believe he was murdered by the British Secret Intelligence Service to prevent him from revealing information about British misconduct during the war. Also historian Peter Padfield claims the suicide note found on the body was written in 1969 while Hess was hospitalized.
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