Jar filled with $20 Double Eagle gold coins expected to raise £80,000 for heirs of Jewish refugees Double Eagles discovered in the garden of a London home where they were buried in fear of a Nazi invasion are expected to sell for a total of around £80,000 in a London auction on November 29-20.
in Devon, then in the 'Arandora Star' on the way to Canada. However, this ship was torpedoed by a U-Boat off the coast of Ireland and many people were drowned. My father was a strong swimmer and after some hours in the water, he was rescued by a Canadian destroyer. After being landed in Scotland, he was sent a few days later to Australia in the boat 'Dunera'. My mother and two siblings were sent to the Isle of Man and later that year, my brother and I joined my mother from Bedfordshire. My grandparents were not interned as they were too old, nor was my widowed aunt. My uncle and aunt were, of course, British citizens."
Until then, the gold coins had been deposited in a bank in the City of London, but fearing that England would be invaded, "... my uncle thought it wise to transfer the gold coins from the safe and bury them in two jars in our garden. It was common knowledge that the Nazis would go to the banks and break open the safes and empty the contents.
"When the Blitz started in September 1940, my uncle drove out of London to Chesham to rent a flat where he and the five members of the family were going the next day. Unfortunately that same night a bomb dropped on our house killing them all."
Martin Sulzbacher returned from Australia in 1942 on release from internment, and the family rented a house in Golders Green. "One of the first things my father did was to go to the safe in the City of London to retrieve the gold coins. To his utter astonishment the safe was empty. Subsequently he met a friend of the family who told him of a conversation with his late brother that the coins were buried in the garden of the ruined house. My father then engaged a labourer with a metal detector to search the garden but without success."
One of the jars was found as the site was being cleared in 1952. A Coroner's inquest confirmed it was Mr Sulzbacher's property but he was required to sell the coins through the Government Broker at the official gold price, receiving at the time just over £1,000.
A second jar was unearthed 55 years later, lying about two feet beneath the garden of a new property on the site. "He [the finder] joked at first he thought of taking the next plane to Rio, but in the end he handed the jar of gold coins to the London Museum who tried to find its origin." After a number of blind alleys, the breakthrough came when a member of staff remembered the publicity around the find and subsequent recovery of the first jar of coins in 1952.
"Of course my father had died long ago in 1981. Then they Googled up the name Sulzbacher which revealed that a Max Sulzbacher was a correspondent of the Association of Jewish Refugees who then traced