Swede jailed for Auschwitz sign theft

A Swedish man has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for instigating the theft last year of the notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work Sets You Free”) sign from the former Auschwitz death camp.

Swede jailed for Auschwitz sign theft

A Swedish man has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for instigating the theft last year of the notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work Sets You Free”) sign from the former Auschwitz death camp.

A spokesman for the Polish regional court in Krakow said a judge decided to approve a settlement that Anders Hogstrom reached with Polish prosecutors.

Hogstrom, who had confessed to involvement in the theft in December 2009, was convicted of instigating it.

He will be transferred to Sweden in the coming weeks to serve his term.

Judge Jaroslaw Gaberle also approved plea deals for two Polish men.

They were convicted of involvement in stealing the sign and given sentences of up to two and a half years.

Prosecutor Robert Parys said the main motive of the group of six that carried out the theft was financial.

Hogstrom maintains that another Swedish man talked him into organising the heist, but Polish prosecutors have been unable to find evidence to support his claim, Parys said.

Judge Gaberle also approved plea deals for two Polish men, Marcin Auguscinski and Andrzej Strychalski. They were convicted of involvement in stealing the sign and given sentences of two and a half years and two years and four months respectively.

Three other Poles involved in the case were convicted of secondary roles in the theft and handed prison terms in March.

The theft occurred on the night of December 17-December 18. Police tracked down the sign less than three days later, finding it cut into three pieces in a forest.

Between 1940 and 1945 more than one million people, mostly Jews, were killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau or died of starvation, disease and hard physical labour at the camp, which Nazi Germany set up in occupied Poland.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox