It is reported that a Swedish man was found guilty by a Polish judge for conceiving a plan to steal the sign at the entrance of Auschwitz with words, ‘Arbeit macht frei’.
The man was sentenced for two years and eight months. The Swede, Anders
Hoegstorem was an ex-neo-Nazi leader. He entered into a plea bargain last month and admitted the theft. He was detained in Sweden and he will serve his sentence in Sweden. The sign that became popular for all the wrong reasons was recovered three days after it was stolen in a damaged condition last December.
Another two Polish men were also sentenced by the judge in Krakow. They were facing a two and half years of jail term, said a Polish media report. One of them, Andrzej S had reportedly repented for the crime in the court.
The sign in question is about 16 feet long and a loose translation of the signs means as ‘work sets you free’. It is made of wrought iron. It became symbolic for Nazi atrocities towards humanity in general and Jews in particular. Around 1.1 million people were killed in Auschwitz camp.
The sign was repaired after recovery and was kept in Auschwitz museum. Another replica of the sign is now at the entrance. The 34 year old Swedish convict at first denied the charges. Later, he changed his stand. He was arrested in February last year. Three other poles were sentenced to prison terms previously in this year. However, one kingpin, who supposedly ordered the theft, was still untraceable. The whereabouts or the identity of the person is not known as yet.
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