Saturday, 27 November 2010

Auschwitz Sign Theft Charges

At last Poland has charged three more men in the case of the theft of the Auschwitz "Arbeit macht Frei" Sign last December. It was discovered cut into three pieces buried in a forest after a massive police hunt and the police arrested five Poles and a Swede. Three of the Poles involved in the scheme (brothers Radosław and Łukasz M. and Paweł S.) confessed to a minor role in the theft earlier this year and are already serving sentences ranging in length from six months to two-and-a-half years.

A Swede, former (?) Neo-Nazi Anders Högström, arrested and extradited to Poland was initially described as the mastermind, but last week it was indicated that Polish authorities now believe that Högström was "not the ultimate instigator of the theft, but more of a middleman with personal ties to the mastermind". Polish officials refused to divulge the identity of the suspected mastermind who is believed to be Swedish (and not British as reported in some earlier accounts). Investigators in Sweden will now work to shed light on his role.

Under the plea bargain, Hogstrom has agreed to a sentence of two years and eight months and a Pole identified only as Marcin A. to two years and six months, both on incitement to theft. Another Pole, Andrzej S., would get two years and four months for theft and for damaging the sign.


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