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Sunken German Sub Didn’t Have Valuables On Board: Officer

August 25, 1993 GMT

TORONTO (AP) _ A German U-boat recovered this week off the Danish coast contained no treasures or high-profile passengers, according to an officer who served on the submarine.

William Brinkmann, of Waterloo, Ontario, wasn’t on board when the U-534 was sunk by a British Royal Air Force bomber 48 years ago. His last stint was two months before it sunk, he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. on Tuesday.

But Brinkmann, the first officer on U-534, said he asked the former chief engineer in 1978 about rumors that the submarine was carrying valuables or high-ranking officers out of Germany in the war’s final days.


″In his opinion this wasn’t true,″ said Brinkmann, 82. ″It was just a normal command to bring the boat from the German port of Kiel to Oslo, in Norway.″

Historians have been hoping that the boat, like some other German submarines seized near the end of World War II, contained microfilms, paintings or even high officials being sent out of the country.

Three of the 52-man crew died in the May 5, 1945, attack, which came the day after Nazi troops surrendered in Denmark, northern Germany, Norway and the Netherlands.

Salvagers pulled the ship off a muddy seabed Monday. They said it would take several days to disarm any explosives before the vessel could be searched. The ship will be towed to Hirtshals, on the west coast of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula, and turned into a museum.