Previously, we reviewed the creation of the Amber Room – a breathtaking chamber lined with gold and amber panels. The Amber Room originally adorned Berlin City Palace with the intention of moving into Charlottenburg Palace – home of the room’s commissioner, King Friedrich I of Prussia. But in 1716, it was given to Peter the Great and was a source of national pride for Russia and St. Petersburg Palace. But, the Germans seized the Amber Room when they invaded during World War II in 1941.
Originally, the Russians could not move the brittle panels of the Amber Room without damaging them. The Germans, however, had the luxury of time. Under the consultation and supervision of experts, the Nazis carefully moved and transported the entire Amber Room to Königsberg Castle for public display.
By 1945, Nazi forces were on the run and the Red Army was headed toward Königsberg. Hitler himself issued an order to pack up and move the Amber Room to a safe and secret location (as he did with much of the Nazi’s war assets, like the counterfeit printing press at Lake Toplitz). Witnesses claim that they saw crates move from Königsberg Castle to the railway. But other than that, the Amber Room was never seen again.
Theories to account for the whereabouts of the Amber Room abound. Unfortunately, none have a positive outlook. We’ll cover the potential fate of the Amber Room in our next blog post.