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Brit hired Swedish Nazis for Auschwitz raid: report

The Local/AFP · 4 Jan 2010, 09:29

Published: 04 Jan 2010 09:29 GMT+01:00

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“The collector wanted it as a trophy - and used his neo-Nazi contacts to put word out he was prepared to pay huge money for it,” a source based in Sweden told the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

Last week, Polish justice officials sought assistance in the investigation from their Swedish counterparts in order to follow up on suspicions that the heist was masterminded by someone outside of Poland.

Five men are currently being held in Poland in connection with the December 18th theft of the iconic, five metre long sign, which translates from German to “Work sets you free”.

According to the Mirror, the suspects in Poland were merely “bit-part players” in a larger international plot which would have also benefited pro-Nazi groups in Sweden.

“Arrangements had been made to hide the sign in a cellar in Stockholm, waiting for the British man to collect. The plan was to use the British guy's money to fund neo-Nazi hate attacks in Sweden,” the source told the newspaper.

A rumoured Swedish connection surfaced around the time the sign was recovered three days after its removal from the front gate of the Auschwitz concentration camp, with Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reporting that an extremist group was plotting a politically-motivated attack against the Swedish parliament, the foreign ministry, and the prime minister's residence.

While Swedish intelligence agency Säpo confirmed it was investigating a far-right attack, the agency refused to say whether there was a connection between the Swedish plot and the theft of the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign.

When it was recovered, the sign had been cut into three pieces, with the letter "i" from "Frei" abandoned at the camp, a Polish state-run museum and memorial since 1947.

Story continues below…

The sign has long symbolized the horror of the camp, created by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland in 1940 and run until Soviet troops liberated it in 1945.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:01 January 4, 2010 by bolababu
what disturbs me is that despite the fact that Swedes deny any connection to Hitler and claim to have been neutral during the 2nd world war, ..whenever the word "Nazi" is mentioned, Sweden keeps popping up.
14:59 January 4, 2010 by peropaco
bolababu, Swedish participation with the Nazi's is well documented. Gustaf V of Sweden adored hitler ;-)
15:08 January 4, 2010 by Dinaricman
Hitler had many allies in Europe and in every country.
15:32 January 4, 2010 by heresneezeduck
Hi as you say when the Nazi word is spocken Sweden pops up.Does anyone know of Sweds that married top Nazis there must be some...
16:45 January 4, 2010 by jones2
Goering's first wife was Swedish. He even lived here for a while with her and flew planes for SAS.
17:01 January 4, 2010 by Henckel
Goering even ended up in the Langbro Lunatic Asylum in 1926 when his morphine addition got the best of him while living in Sweden after the 1923 Munich putsch, in which he had been wounded.
17:49 January 4, 2010 by Bender B Rodriquez
"Hi as you say when the Nazi word is spocken Sweden pops up.Does anyone know of Sweds that married top Nazis there must be some..."

Of course there must be some: Sweden and Germany have always had tight connections, no matter if they were Nazi or not.
00:06 January 5, 2010 by dsc
Every European country has Nazis. Sweden is just one of their sweet spots. But not to worry, they are dying out. . . .
21:14 January 5, 2010 by Nykola
As a British citizen I am usually proud to come from a multi-racial and tolerant country. Sadly this shows that racism is alive and well in the UK. I'm disgusted and ashamed that a Brit is connected with this gut wrenching crime.
23:21 January 6, 2010 by J Jack
Oh come on! Neutrality of a Nation means a total refusal to take part in any wars. So, therefore, if you are Swedish you can never be a real Nazi. You are redundant by default by your nationality. Oh, poor you.
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