Plundered Nazi Champagne discovered
5th June, 2015 by Rupert Millar
A collection of Champagne and Cognac plundered from occupied France by the Nazis and which survived looting by the Soviets has been unearthed in Saxony.
The Marcolinipalais Villa which is now a restaurant. Photo credit: Lutz Weidler
Discovered at the Marcolinipalais Villa in the grounds of the Wasserschloss Moritzburg estate north of Dresden, the booze was found in the gardens of the villa during renovation work by a famous German restaurateur, Silvio Stelzer, some years ago.
The discovery was supplemented by ledger belonging to the late Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony whose family used to own the estate.
In the ledger it was shown that in 1944 the SS had stored large quantities of Champagne, Cognac, fine food and cigarettes, moving it on the orders of Adolf Hitler out of Berlin which was being pounded by Allied bombers.
“It was brought here at night in hundreds of boxes,” said Stelzer. “In addition to alcohol there was cheese, biscuits, tins of butter, salami sausage, coffee, chocolate and cigarettes – everything that it was impossible to get on the home front.”
It has not been revealed how many bottles were discovered but there existence is remarkable in the first place as the estate and rest of the carefully stored loot was comprehensively looted by the Red Army in 1945.
The contents and cellars have been turned over to historians for research.
Although described as “Hitler’s cellar” in other parts of the press, it is more likely that the stash was for the entertainment of high-ranking Nazi officials and SS officers who were always furnished with the very best of the luxuries looted from occupied Europe.
The Führer was not entirely tee-total, he drank wine and beer occasionally and while he largely followed a vegetarian diet during the war he ate meat from time to time.
He abhorred smoking.