FOUND: A German WWII Tank Hidden in a Basement - Atlas Obscura
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FOUND: A German WWII Tank Hidden in a Basement


A Panther tank in action in 1944. (Photo: Bundesarchiv Bild/Wikimedia)

In a wealthy suburb of the German city of Kiel, not far from the border with Denmark, German police found a 1943 Panther tank hidden the basement of a 70-year-old man.

The tank, once used by the Nazi army in World War II, weighs about 50 tons and is 22 feet long. The mayor of the town where it was found told a German paper that he wasn’t surprised to see it: the owner “was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978,” he said.

It’s illegal in Germany to own weapons of war and to collect Nazi memorabilia; the owner says the tank’s weaponry no longer works. The police were tipped off by the Berlin squad that has been tracking down traders of Nazi art, like the horse sculptures that once stood outside Hitler’s chancellery. The tank posed a particular difficulty, though: as the Independent writes, a day after the tanks was found, “Authorities were having difficulties in figuring out how to remove the tank from the premises.” 

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Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.