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Swede strikes plea deal for Auschwitz theft

AFP/The Local · 25 Nov 2010, 18:24

Published: 25 Nov 2010 18:24 GMT+01:00

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Anders Högström, who had risked up to 10 years behind bars if convicted in Poland of masterminding the theft, admitted his role before the case reached court, said a spokesman for the prosecutors' office in the city of Krakow.

"After having pleaded not guilty during the investigation, Högström admitted his guilt," prosecutor Robert Parys told AFP.

"Under a plea bargain with prosecutors, he accepted a penalty of two years and eight months in prison. He will serve his sentence in Sweden."

Högström was arrested in Sweden on a Polish warrant in February on suspicion of ordering the theft of the infamous "Arbeit macht frei" sign from the site of the World War II Nazi camp in the southern Polish city of Oswiecim.

Polish police recovered the five-metre metal sign -- which means "Work Will Set You Free" in German -- two days after it went missing late last year. It had been chopped into three pieces.

Five Polish men were arrested and charged with the actual theft of the sign, three of whom have already been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

The two others are still to face trial.

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

Story continues below…

He told Swedish media he was to act as an intermediary to pick up the sign and sell it to a buyer, adding however that he informed Polish police about the people behind the plot.

Of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, one million were murdered at Auschwitz, mostly in the camp's notorious gas chambers, along with tens of thousands of others including Poles, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

21:35 November 25, 2010 by ISayWhatPeopleThink
Hmm, shame they didn't report all of the story.


First of all, they RUINED the sign when stealing it, they cut the metal up into three pieces to remove it and it was also half unscrewed on one side/ and just torn off on the other side.

And how the theft really p*ssed off the Jews:

""This act constitutes an act of war." - Avner Shalev, head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. ; "The act demonstrates once again hatred and violence against Jews," -Silvan Shalom, Israeli vice prime minister.

...sounds like Sweden is going to be in the hotseat with the Kosher crowd. -_-

Oh and supposedly the idea was to sell the sign to a private collector to raise money for "violent attacks" on the Swedish Prime Minister and Parliament. Not sure if it is true, smells a lot like a smokescreen/diversion to keep the angry Jewish community from pointing fingers this way to Sweden's government. Who knows though....


22:52 November 25, 2010 by millionmileman
How convenient, serving time in a Swedish prison is the antithesis of being Auschwitz itself, and to top everything Poland is just a short trip across the Baltic.

How many people even know that more souls of many faiths, nationalities and political spectrum perished in that evil place, in the history of mankind. I can't understand the Polish Government consenting to this either, as they lost a few million of their own citizens.
02:09 November 26, 2010 by Ravioli
Why are we seeing this guy's name but not Ahmed "The Car Park Killer" Akilah's? Can someone explain Sweden's PC media rules again?

Too keep it on topic, I am wondering why they even bothered to bring the sign back to Sweden if they broke it into pieces upon removing it? Surely, it's monetary value was heavily diminished in the process.
07:40 November 26, 2010 by RobinHood
It's just a metal sign stolen by criminals for money. It's not worth anything at all compared to one second of one person's suffering that went on in that place. People should get things in proportion before they talk about "Acts of war." Instead of banging on about a metal sign, the world would be better off if people focused their energy on helping the millions of victims of oppression around the world right now, some living in conditions not too far from those in Auschwitz. When the last one of those is placed in safety - then we can worry about metal signs.
07:45 November 26, 2010 by emphir

"I can't understand the Polish Government consenting to this either, as they lost a few million of their own citizens"

Polish Government has nothing to say in the matter of the punishment because it doesn't control the prosecution?
13:42 November 26, 2010 by bear79
Well,I think this is hillarious,one side you have the swedish govement and people saying no no were not rascist,and then they have sum nut job shooting immagrants ,then to cap it all they steal the sign from Auschwitz.

very multi cultured .

as long as your not from any other country.you will do well in germa....i mean sweden.111 riech will march back in down the street soon and the swedes will say
15:08 November 26, 2010 by Kevin Harris

You have got half the story, but behind Whalström, Högstrom and Mossad are the Zarkons from Planet Zark 85, who planned to use the sign to power their new Piffledrive spaceships and finally triumph in their 300 Zabbit war against the Xabots. Only after this victory will they be able to free their warrior queen and holy mother Biddlewop, currently imprisoned back on planet Earth in the guise of Paris Hilton and her dog.
20:12 November 26, 2010 by calebian22

06:51 November 28, 2010 by MikeSar
Two others that died in Auschwitz are the Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, who offered to take the place of a Jew and Edith Stein who was a Jew who converted to Catholicism after she read the biography of St. Theresa de Avila. She is now St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, promoted by Pope John Paul II. She studied philosophy under Edmund Husserl, an advocate of Phnomenology. She wrote "On the Problem of Empathy" and first proposed "the logic of emotion", something that seems obvious, now, but was unknown or ignored by the three founders of Psychology, Freud, Junk and Adler. She and her mother, who remained Jewish, attended services in both churches together. The best example of Ecumenical views, a very Swedish outlook.
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