Europe

Mystery of Germany's festive gold bar donations

File picture of gold bars Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Three local associations in the same northern German town have received anonymous donations of gold bars

A number of local associations in a small town in northern Germany have received anonymous donations in gold bars, reports say.

A hospice and an animal welfare association in Cuxhaven received two gold bars on Saint Nicholas Day on 6 December, and the next day.

A community self-help group also received gold bars through the post.

The bars, which together weigh 500g (17oz), are thought to be worth about €17,000 (£15,000, $19,000).

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The bars came with the same cover letter on red paper, saying: "This is a free donation to [name of the association] to support this important task in Cuxhaven. Have fun with it and Happy Christmas!"

The episode is reminiscent of the Braunschweig mystery donations when an anonymous donor gave packets filled with 500-euro notes to local good causes from 2011 to 2015.

Local associations or individuals received anonymous cash donations of up to €10,000, and in total more than €250,000 were donated, reports say.

Saint Nicholas was a 4th-Century bishop who liked to give gifts secretly, leading to him becoming the model for Father Christmas.

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