Sweden asked to aid Polish probe into Auschwitz sign theft
Swedish authorities said Tuesday they have been asked to assist a Polish probe into last month's theft of the entrance sign to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, DPA reported.
Five men have been remanded in custody in Poland on suspicion of organizing and carrying out the December 18 theft of the sign, which reads "Arbeit Macht Frei" or "Work Sets You Free."
The sign hung over the gate of the death camp, where 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were murdered during the Nazi occupation of Poland in World War II.
Published reports have suggested that there was a plan to ship the sign to a group of Swedish neo-Nazis. They were to have kept the sign in a cellar in Stockholm until they could transfer it to a wealthy British Nazi sympathizer and collector who had commissioned the theft, according to a report in the British newspaper, The Sunday Mirror.
Polish police announced the recovery of the sign on December 20. It had been defaced and cut into three pieces, allegedly in preparation for shipment to a buyer.