The Disappearance of the Amber Room

The Amber Room Replica
Public Domain Photo Courtesy of jeanyfan

The Amber Room was an 11-foot square Baroque style room made of amber and worth $142 million dollars by today's standards. It was given to Peter the Great by Prussia in 1716 and remained in Russia for more than 200 years. It was altered by the Catherine the Great, but all accounts make it clear that she only made the room more magnificent. She also moved it from the Winter Palace, where it was originally housed, to Tsarskoye Selo, from whence it was stolen in 1941 by Nazi Germany.

The delicate room was packed into 27 crates and hauled out of Russia, most of it never to return. It was taken to Konigsberg, Germany and allegedly stored there. The official story from Germany is that the major bombings of the city in 1945 destroyed the Amber Room. However, there is a twist.

One of the men who moved the crates wound up with some of the room in his possession. In 1997, a mosaic and a chest from the room were found with his family in Bremen, Germany. No one is quite sure if the man stole the items when he was moving the room or if he managed to obtain them after the room was supposed to have been destroyed. The mystery remains.