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Swede charged over Auschwitz sign theft

AFP/The Local · 14 Jan 2010, 08:05

Published: 14 Jan 2010 08:05 GMT+01:00

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"We have indicted Anders H. with incitement to theft," spokeswoman for Krakow regional prosecutor Boguslawa Marcinkowska told Poland's TVN24 news channel.

Polish prosecutors also requested a Polish court to order that the suspect, identified by media as former Swedish neo-Nazi Anders Högström, 34, to be provisionally detained for 14 days.

Prosecutors intend to issue national and subsequently European arrest warrants for the man as soon as the court approves the arrest order, Marcinkowska said.

Anders Högström, 34, a former Swedish neo-Nazi, has said he was supposed to act as an intermediary to pick up the sign and sell it to a buyer, but in the end he wound up informing Polish police about the people behind the plot.

"I was asked if I wanted to take the sign from one location to another," he told tabloid Aftonbladet.

"We had a person who was willing to pay several millions (of kronor, or hundreds of thousands of dollars) for the sign," he said.

He claimed he helped police nab the people behind the December 18 theft.

Police recovered the five-metre metal sign -- which means "Work Will Set You Free" in German -- on December 20 in northern Poland and arrested the five Polish men.

The sign had been cut in three parts.

"I'm proud to have revealed everything," Högstroem said.

But questioned by AFP, a Kracow police spokeswoman denied he played a role helping police catch five Poles, aged 20 to 39, suspected of physically stealing the sign.

"The phone call from Sweden came as we were already in the process of arresting the thieves," she said.

The five suspects face up to 10 years behind bars if found guilty of the theft from the UNESCO World Heritage site as charged.

In 1994 Högström founded the National Socialist Front, a Swedish neo-Nazi movement he headed for five years before quitting.

Story continues below…

After leaving his party, he distanced himself from the movement and became a model citizen, joining an association called Exit which helps youths quit far-right movements, Aftonbladet claimed.

The National Socialist Front was dissolved in late 2008.

The sign above Auschwitz's gateway has long symbolized the horror of the camp where some 1.1 million people, mostly European Jews, fell victim to Nazi German genocide.

The Nazis created the camp in occupied Poland in 1940. It was in operation until Soviet troops liberated it in 1945.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:50 January 14, 2010 by digital
No comments? Not one? Come on? Please?

F. N.
12:33 January 14, 2010 by Nemesis
This guy needs to be taught a real lesson.

Roma, slavs, soldiers, jews, jehova's witness's, the mentally ill, children and others died in that place for no reason other than existing.

The options i would choose for all involved are.

1. Drop him in the street in Warsaw with a sign around his neck stating what he has done.

2. Drop him in a Roma camp

3. Drop him in Tel a Viv.

4. Drop him in a Russian army camp.

Any of the above would teach him a real lesson in how serious to take the holocaust.
21:36 January 14, 2010 by Buccaneer
I think that he should be made to account for his actions now and all he has done in the past.

I dont see any difference between this guy, his kind and religious radicals who would kill people in the name of religion or idealogy. They are both hatefull groups who go around preaching hate and killing those who fail to agree with them.

Just like the radical Somalian who set out to kill the cartoonist in Denmark, this guy should face the law and let other learn from it.

I dont care if you are a neo-Nazi, a muslim radical or a christian radical, a hate monger is a hate monger. We have seen this kind of people in the history of the mankind, they never bring any good, just pain, dearth and misery.
18:53 January 15, 2010 by baby bjorn
Does anyone not see the "off topic" humor in this? I mean... look at the photo....Someone actually broke INTO A PRISON CAMP! I can't help but see how ironic this is... if only symbolic,it demonstrates the mental irrelevance of those "reacting" to this issue....(not too unlike the global warming scaremongers...while I'm standing in snow to my hips!) "Think" of how you and I are manipulated by this kind of stupidity! A stupid sign is stolen (IN POLAND!) and the media is trying to make you think it's important! Meanwhile, back at the farm....a completely unstable man is executing teens (IN SWEDEN!) and he doesn't get as much as a "mental evaluation"?(Oh,BTW he just happens to be jewish?) Do you NOT see the game at play here? Let me make it clearer for those "brainwashed" by the game...If you are fed the "holocaust 24/7" from every direction (media,school,government,"hollywierd",etc.) Israel can keep "ethnically cleansing" (a warm and fuzzy way of saying "GENOCIDE/MURDER") Palestinians with impunity! It's THAT simple. Wake up... Please Wake Up!
10:05 January 18, 2010 by Buccaneer
@ baby bjorn, It is sad to dignify your comment with an answer. You call it stupid to talk about some neo-nazi idiots who would want such a symbolic reminder of lives lost to disappear?

Tell you what, there is a thin line between what you are trying to do and what they did. Save your Isreal and jew hating views for your pals who care to listen to it.
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