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Auschwitz sign theft – Charges at last

KRAKOW TOURS – It’s been nearly a year since the theft of the infamous “Arbiet Macht Frei” sign that had once greeted prisoners destined for the death camps at Auschwitz.

Though the sign was recoveredjust three days later, it wasn’t until yesterday that the final steps were taken so that those responsible could be brought to justice.

In March, three of the five Polish suspects involved in the theft of the sign were handed prison sentences ranging from 18 to 30 months. However, the alleged mastermind of the theft, Swede Anders Hoegstroem, a former neo-Nazi, as well as two Polish suspects, were only charged by Polish prosecutors on Thursday. Hoegstroem, who had been extradited to Poland in April, is now facing between 28 and 32 months for incitement to commit theft of the historic sign. One of the Poles, identified as Marcin A., was indicted with the same charge, while the final suspect, Andrzej S., has been charged with participating in the actual theft, though he pleaded not guilty.

Hoegstroem is expected to agree to a plea bargain to serve out his sentence in Sweden.

Photo courtesy Peter Harpley

November 26, 2010 Posted by | News, Tour Information | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Auschwitz thief complains of maltreatment

KRAKOW TOURS – Anders Hoegstroem, the Swede who is accused of stealing the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign from the Auschwitz museum in December 2009, has complained of bad conditions in the jail where he is currently being held.

Hoegstroem earlier passed on his grievances to a friend in Sweden, Bjoern Fries, a politician for the Social Democratic Party in Sweden. Fries announced the thief’s malcontentment on SVT, Sweden’s public broadcaster on Thursday evening.

“Hoegstroem has lost 15 kg since he was interred in Poland, and he also has to pay for his own water and personal hygiene products,” Fries said.

The politician is urging the Swedish authorities to look into the case, to check whether “such treatment is in line with the European justice system.”

Former neo-Nazi, and allegedly the mastermind behind the theft of the sign, Anders Hoegstroem is currently being held in a prison in the southern city of Krakow, along with two Polish suspects: Marcin A. and Andrzej S.

Investigations into the theft have been extended until December, with media reports stating that the case will probably be finished by the end of this year.

Hoegstroem has maintained his innocence in the case, which accuses him of the theft and also persuading the Poles to help him. If found guilty, he could face a 10 year sentence.

November 5, 2010 Posted by | News, Tour Information | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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