This story began in the summer of 1945 when Hitler’s faithful ally, Obergruppenführer SA Ley, who was being held as a war criminal in Nuremberg, alarmed the Allied command with the message that the south of Germany was in danger of disaster.
He told the Americans that in one of the underground bunkers, code-named Z3, where until the last days of the war the development of Nazi top-secret weapons continued, right before the surrender of Germany, containers with some very dangerous substance were depressurized due to sabotage of prisoners of war. If you do not enter the bunker and do not eliminate the leak, at least a third of the country’s population will die. To prevent so many deaths, Robert Ley, is ready to go down into the dungeon.
Photo © Steffi Loos / Getty Images
The Americans are alarmed. During the war years, the Nazis really launched a stormy activity underground, having built more than 130 underground factories. Obviously, Lei, who held prominent posts and was responsible not only for the Labor Front, but also for the organization of forced labor of prisoners of war and other foreign workers, really could know a lot about the Nazi secret designs.
The Z3 bunker was located in Weimar, and, according to the Americans, the Nazis were engaged in the development of new engines for aircraft. For the manufacture of fuel, they used previously unknown substances and a huge amount of mercury.
The Americans could not let Ley go down to the bunker himself, he had to play a prominent role in the Nuremberg trials – the Nazi was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Americans did not want to risk a prominent captive, therefore, under the guise of fulfilling allied agreements, Soviet specialists were invited to participate in the liquidation of the accident. They didn’t talk about the real state of things, they threw disinformation on the Soviet command about the development by the Nazis of engines for submarines working on hydrogen peroxide.
Of course, the leadership of the USSR was interested in the new product. Despite the victory, the Soviet Union still lagged behind in a number of research and development. For example, the Nazis in 1941 for the first time launched an underwater rocket from the U-511 submarine. In the USSR, even after four years, they could only dream about it. The Soviet leadership was interested in the Nazi development of plasma weapons, new disk-shaped aircraft and climate weapons. Therefore, in the USSR, it was decided to participate in the inspection of the Z3 bunker. As a performer, they decided to send a self-taught chemist, a specialist in the synthesis of phosphors (substances capable of converting energy into light), senior lieutenant Nikolai Zhirov to Weimar.
Orders are not discussed
Nikolai Zhirov was truly passionate about science. Due to the death of his father, he could not get higher education, but at the age of 25 he published the first scientific articles on the synthesis of phosphors. He had a very noble origin for the USSR, graduated from high school and independently mastered a chemistry course that was not taught at the educational institution. Before the war, he graduated from the Kiev school of command personnel for artillerymen, then retired, worked at the Moscow Research Institute of the Commissariat of Ammunition, and in 1940 published a monograph on phosphors. During the war years, Zhirov developed phosphors of blue glow for the needs of air defense.
When he was called to the Lubyanka on July 6, 1945, Zhirov was sure that he would be offered to work with the archives of the Nazis, because he had excellent knowledge of German at the gymnasium. However, they issued him a certificate of the specially authorized State Defense Committee of the USSR, took a non-disclosure subscription and sent him on a business trip to Weimar. From it, a 42-year-old scientist returned a completely different person.
Nikolai Zhirov. Photo © Wikipedia
It is known that in Weimar, Robert Ley personally indicated a hidden entrance to the bunker, after which specialists in chemical protection suits cleared the rubble and found that the lifts were working. However, neither the Americans nor the British decided to go down. And then Nikolai Zhirov did it.
But neither the protective suit, nor the gas mask that Zhirov prudently put on, helped the scientist. After the chemist completed the task and rose to the surface, he became ill. Zhirov was immediately taken to the hospital.
The historian Alexander Voronin in the film “Berlin – Atlantis” mentioned that Zhirov admitted:
In the Nazi dungeon he experienced damage to the nervous system by chemicals unknown to him. But what he saw in the bunker, Zhirov, bound by a state secret, never told anyone.
Patient Zhirov was urgently taken to Moscow and put in the Botkin hospital, where he was until April 1947. The diagnosis, which was given to him by Soviet doctors, did not explain anything: a viral lesion of the central nervous system. At the hospital, Zhirov raved about Atlantis and read excerpts from Plato as a keepsake.
It was here, in a hospital bed, that he found a new meaning in life – the search for an ancient civilization. Zhirov was sure that the Nazis found the source of ancient knowledge, which means that in the USSR it was necessary to open a department similar to the Nazi research organization Anenerbe and find out where, in what source the Nazis drew ideas for new discoveries.
Photo © Wikipedia
Zhirov was discharged from the hospital as a disabled person of group I, but the scientist was not discouraged – he surrounded himself with textbooks on geology, geography and history and began to search for Atlantis. Despite the fact that in 1948 Zhirov was awarded the degree of Doctor of Chemistry for the totality of works, his new activity did not arouse enthusiasm among the authorities. The chemist continually sent articles to magazines in France and Britain, wrote to foreign colleagues, and therefore was closely monitored by the KGB.
By the second half of the 1950s, Zhirov was sure: Atlantis existed and should rightfully occupy one of the sections of the biogeography of the Quaternary – the geological segment of time, which continues to this day. The bride in a circle. How did the ancient Slavs treat women?
In 1957, his work “Atlantis” was completed, and in 1964 the scientific publication “Atlantis. The main problems of Atlantology” saw the light, in which the author examined the civilization of Atlantis as a period of the formation of mankind and argued that Atlantis really existed, and in the Atlantic when then there was a huge continent, which, as a result of the disaster, plunged into the abyss. Zhirov was sure: the Nazis had somehow found and used the knowledge of this civilization, ahead of the world by decades.
A terminally ill chemist hoped that in the USSR his work would be appreciated, but this did not happen. Soviet science was aimed only at the future, for a great civilization of the past there was no place in it. When Nikolai Zhirov died in 1970, his entire archive was seized and kept secret. Whether this was made out of the principle “no matter what happens” or if the leadership of the USSR really tried to hide something that became known from the archives of the Nazis, we may never know.
But the idea of searching for the ancient Atlantean civilization was eagerly picked up by other Soviet scientists and writers. In 1961, with the introduction of academician Vasily Struve, the book by Atlantis. In Search of the Lost World was published by Ekaterina Andreeva. The search for the mythical Hyperborea took up the famous geologist and geographer Vladimir Obruchev.
In 1974, when researching Mount Amper in the Atlantic Ocean at a depth of 80 meters, the MSU Academician Petrovsky research vessel found clear evidence of the existence of an ancient civilization that was destroyed by a cataclysm and sunk under water. Mount Amper is located about 380 kilometers southwest of Cape San Vicente on the Iberian Peninsula (coordinates 35 ° 03 ‘N, 12 ° 54’ W, minimum depth 59 meters). Repeated pictures of the mountain were taken in 1980 by the Paisys underwater vehicle, and in 1981 even an underwater bell with divers was lowered to Mount Amper. According to scientists, Atlantis was located between the mountain and the mainland and plunged into the sea about eight and a half thousand years ago.
But, unfortunately, shortly after this, the scientific community of the USSR considered research in the Atlantic an empty diversion, and all research was curtailed. The Atlantis of Nikolai Zhirov remained closed. Materials on the Z3 bunker are also still classified.