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Three in Sweden sought for Auschwitz sign theft

AFP/The Local · 7 Jan 2010, 08:07

Published: 07 Jan 2010 08:07 GMT+01:00

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"We want to confirm the identity of these individuals, about whom we have partial details. We want them to be questioned by Polish investigators in Poland," prosecutor Artur Wrona told reporters.

"The evidence gathered is solid enough to charge one of them, and possibly another. The third would be questioned as a witness," he added.

Poland sent Sweden a formal request on December 31 for aid in its probe of the theft, which sent shockwaves around the world.

Investigators declined to confirm reports by the Polish news channel TVN24 that the individuals are two Swedes and a Swedish-resident Serb.

The theft was discovered on December 18 at the former World War II death camp in southern Poland, which is now a state-run museum and memorial.

Police recovered the five-metre metal sign -- which means "Work Will Set You Free" in German -- two days later in northern Poland and arrested five Polish men. The sign had been cut into three pieces.

Charged with theft and damage, the men face up to 10 years in prison.

Aged 20 to 39, they have criminal records for theft or violence. But none appeared to be neo-Nazis although they may have been working for foreign neo-Nazis, police said.

Swedish media have claimed the theft's mastermind planned to sell the sign to finance far-right terrorist attacks against Sweden's parliament and the home of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. On December 24, Swedish intelligence service Säpo announced it was probing a plot to attack both targets.

And earlier in the week high profile Swedish defence lawyer Peter Althin said he expects to represent a Swedish citizen reported by Aftonbladet to have been planning to sell the sign to a wealthy British Nazi before ditching the plot and informing Interpol.

Althin would not confirm that his prospective client had confessed to involvement in the crime, only that he would represent the man should the prosecutor choose to press charges.

"I won't get into it any more for the moment, except to say that I have, in Sweden, met the man who has been written about," Althin told news agency TT on Tuesday.

Story continues below…

According to British newspaper reports, a Swedish right-wing extremist group agreed to help a wealthy UK-based collector and Nazi sympathizer acquire the sign in exchange for "huge money".

The cynical sign above Auschwitz's gateway has long symbolized the horror of the camp, created by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland in 1940 and in operation until Soviet troops liberated it in 1945.

Around 1.1 million mainly Jewish prisoners from across Europe died at the camp, mostly in its notorious gas chambers. Among the other victims were non-Jewish Poles, Roma and captured Soviet soldiers.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:02 January 7, 2010 by robfra
I fail to understand why you implicate the mossad and israel and i don't know what plot.

the truth is much more simple and the plot is on the Swedish side. Are the Swedes such angels that they cannot be involved in a despiteful scheme .Let me remind you that when the germans opened this camp in 1940, the first prisoners were not Jews, but political detainees. So for me this sign is the symbol of the oppression and the brutality of a demoniac ideology. Those who stole this sign wanted to get a trophy reminding them the good old times.
10:45 January 7, 2010 by robfra
I haven't read this book , but i saw that it was published in 2005, so it is not relevant in this case. Also you are relating to attacks on human beings whereas this case is about stealing a sign.Furthermore, I do not see what israel has to gain here. It is a waste of time and energy to hire three Polish jerks, to ask them to cut off a sign in three pieces, forward it to Sweden and then to the UK . Maybe you have clues.

What I suggest is to wait for the results of the investigation before putting forward hypothesis.
10:53 January 7, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Trowbridge.

This is nothing to do with your conspiracies. It was stolen by idiots for a twisted collector.

Jews and other minorities wewre exterminated in gas chambers in Auschwitz. Or do you deny that as well?

Your blatant anti-semitism is noted for what it is. You like the deniers, are trying to blame the victims for the crimes.

Try some reading.



Maybe you might actually learn something and realise where your anti-semitism leads. The road to hell.
12:06 January 7, 2010 by calebian22

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

There are Jew haters in Sweden. All you have to do is look in the mirror to see proof.
12:21 January 7, 2010 by Nemesis
@ calebian22

Well put.
13:20 January 7, 2010 by Rick Methven
If being critical of organisations such as Mossad, who have a long history of proven dirty tricks means that you are a Jew hater, does criticism of Säpo mean that you are a Swede hater. If fact does criticism of any state organisation of any country mean that you are anti the whole population of that country?

There are 2 types of Jew, those who follow their faith and want to live in peace with their fellow men of all faiths either in Israel or anywhere else.

Then there are the Zionists who want to exterminate all non-Jews from what they claim is the land God gave them. Mossad is the enforcer for the Zionist movement.


Does holding that view make me a Jew hater ?
13:42 January 7, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Rick Methven

The people being questioned for the theft so far are two poles, a serb and they are wanting to speak to a brit.

It is nothing to do with Mossad, Israel or anything else. It is purely to do with some Swedish\Serb idiots thinking they could get away with stealing it for a brit who hates the sacrifices that his fellow brits made during world war 2.

That is why both Calebian 22 and myself called Trowbridge out on it, for twisting the story into something it isn't.

Read the comments and read for yourself who raised the issues of mossad and made unsubstantiated claims.
14:14 January 7, 2010 by calebian22

Machon and Shayler are 9/11 conspiracy nuts. While the book that you site is reasonable in some of it's unsubstantiated and unproven theories about Mossad's involvement in the UK, when you listen to some of their nutty ideas that they have posited about Sept. 11th, any credibility that they had should be questioned.

Trowbride and Rick,

Everyone is entitled to their views about Israel. However, this story is about a theft from Auschwitz perpetuated by neo Nazis in several different countries. Making an unsubstantiated claim that Mossad is behind it all when there is no proof to the contrary is probably indicative of a personal hatred for Jews. It certainly doesn't make you seem like a Jew supporter.
17:29 January 7, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Trowbridge H. Ford

Evidence that you are completely fabricating your stories.


It is now very clear that it is purely antisemitism on your part.
17:47 January 7, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Trowbridge H. Ford

You are just a blatant antisemitic. Allege what you want of others. It still does not detract from the fact you are an anti semitic.
17:57 January 7, 2010 by Rick Methven
Calebian22 said

" is probably indicative of a personal hatred for Jews. It certainly doesn't make you seem like a Jew supporter.

So as I am critical of Mossad (from bitter personal experience) I am a Jew hater.

I am not a Jew hater, I have a number of Jewish friends and had an Israeli sambo for 6 years. She was a reasoning Jew who left Israel because of the actions of the Zionists fronted by Mossad.

What I do hate is the Zionists such as yourself who cry anti-Semite the moment anybody says one word that intimates that the sun does not shine from the backside of every Israeli.

I did not make my comments in support of Trowbridge's contention that Mossad was involved. But your response saying he was a Jew hater. Did you go to the Mossad propaganda school?

The whole matter of the stealing of the sign is really convoluted and some many red herrings are being laid that in the end Trowbridge may have something.

At this point in time, I do not know or care.

What I do care about is being labelled a Jew Hater by some moronic Zionist Slob who knows nothing about me.
19:07 January 7, 2010 by calebian22

These two rational individuals will never understand. Happy New Year to you.
00:46 January 9, 2010 by CatGirl
This does not surprise me considering how many serious left wing racists there are in this country. And this is not counting the closeted ones. I respect the racists who are open about their views its the closeted ones in high positions you have to be worried about.

Hopefully this will open the worlds eyes about Sweden's problems with integration and equal rights. Every year it improves but I think if immigrants and foreigners are still segregated from Swedish society in diverse ways then it will come back to haunt the society eventually in different ways.

Sweden should try to avoid getting the reputation as a racist society. This could lead to poor international business relations and economic problems in the future. The government should really try to think of better policies to try to improve integration in society and the workplace.
00:48 January 9, 2010 by CatGirl
Comment: I actually think the Swedes that are guilty of this should serve time in Poland and not Sweden. I am almost positive the sentence would be much harsher.
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