As a child, everyone dreams of finding gold or treasure hidden somewhere in their home or buried in their backyard. Imagine you were actually able to find the treasure that your mother or father hid decades before. What would you do with that knowledge? Even after moving from that home, would you go back for the treasure not knowing whether it’s actually worth something or not?
Rudi Schlattner’s father did just that. However, Rudi wasn’t told. He just had a sneaking suspicion that his Dad had hidden something special in his childhood home. Rudi went back to to the home he grew up in to see if what his father left still existed.
He wasn’t expecting what he found, though.
Rudi’s family left their gorgeous childhood home during World War II when all German nationals had to leave Czechoslovakia. The entire family was forced from their beautiful home and had to find peace elsewhere. I could understand if they had been part of the Nazi party, but they had no business with the war. A family was displaced because of their heritage. Discriminated against and forced from their house because of who they were rather than who.
Rudi was just a child when his family left their home. Still, he kept the knowledge of his father’s hidden treasures for years only to go back and look for it.
Now that he was in his 80’s, Rudi felt compelled to go back to that childhood home to see if what he remembered as a boy was true. He returned there, not to relive memories of a lost childhood, but to recover the treasure he knew his father had hidden somewhere within that house. Rudi needed to know if the treasure was real. Whether what his father hid was valuable or simply family keepsakes. His entire family, still living, joined him in his adventure to find buried treasure!
However, when he returned to the house, it had been refurbished and renovated into a school.
Well, the treasure Rudi was trying to find wasn’t buried in the ground, but in his childhood homes attic. Although his family was there for support, he didn’t want anyone helping him look for the hiding spot. All by himself, he searched around the attic until he finally found it. It was a very thin string, barely visible, hanging down from the side of the wall. As it was extremely out of place, there was no question that this was the place his father had hidden his secret stash of treasure!
Unsure of what he would find, Rudi pulled on the string and removed the panel in excited anticipation. What did he find?
Well, nothing at first. With the attic walls at such a strange angle, Rudi wasn’t able to look past it to see inside the secret room. He wasn’t about to let his age get in the way of his lifelong dream. Rudi was 80-years-old but he was strong enough to do all this mostly by himself and he had his determination keeping him going. He pulled out that panel with a little help from his family and put it aside. He wouldn’t let anyone shimmy through the hole before him.
Anticipation pushing him on, Rudi made his way into the hidden room to see what his dad had left there. He just wasn’t sure if they were going to be valuable or not.
Rudi crept through the hole in the wall of the attic making sure he went through before anyone else did. After all these years of wondering, he would be the first witness. He finally was able to find what his dad had hidden all these years and he wasn’t disappointed. His father had stored a huge cache of memorabilia in that hidden room. Every single item within it was worth something, too. Although Rudi will tell you that he didn’t go searching for the treasure to find a fortune, but how cool is it to find one anyway!
What kind of stuff was in that attic that would be a fortune?
To Rudi’s surprise, there were tons of stuff crammed inside the attic room. It took him and his family an extremely long time going through it all before even taking it to an appraiser. They placed everything carefully alongside each other on the floor to inspect the packaging before opening them up to see what lay inside. The wrapping was so old that they had to handle each piece delicately in case the mystery inside them would break from simply being displaced. Some of it was already damaged, from being kept in the small space for so long that Rudi didn’t want to take any more chances with it.
What awaited him inside the boxes that appraisers told him was worth a fortune?
Once Rudi and his family started opening the packages, they realized that they had some marvelous antiques in their possession. From newspapers printed during WWII, to old books, to porcelain dolls - Rudi had a real treasure trove on his hands that he couldn’t have begun to imagine. His father kept all of these German artifacts hidden away, and Rudi felt that he was meant to find them.
He couldn’t believe that all the memorabilia had been kept here all this time without being found. With renovations, refurbishing, and kindergartners running around, it’s amazing that everything remained carefully tucked away and out of sight.
With everything unpacked, it was time to take the booty to an appraiser!
Rudi and his family were able to get an appraiser to his childhood home from a nearby village to inspect his findings. The appraiser was astounded by how much Rudi and his family found inside the attic. After looking it over, he was able to determine which items held worth and which were great examples of life during the 1940s. Rudi wasn’t in it for the money in the first place - he just wanted to see what his dad was hiding. He was thrilled to see that he was right, as the discovery alone was fantastic enough for him.
What would you do if you were in Rudi’s shoes?
In fact, some of the items didn’t hold much worth in the end. However, the items that weren’t as valuable as others did give a rare peek into life was like during the WWII era. From the books they read or used to teach children, every piece had something interesting to tell from the past. The appraiser from the museum was actually shocked at how many everyday items were stashed in the secret attic room. They may not have a high monetary value, but extremely significant historical value.
Unfortunately, everything that Rudi and his family found in that attic belonged to the Czechoslovakian government now that it was a school. Rudi wasn’t worried, though. He may not be able to keep the items his father treasured, but he found closure being able to make his dreams come true.