Swede, two Poles charged with Auschwitz sign theft
Polish prosecutors charged Anders Hogstrom, a Swede, and two Poles Thursday over the theft last year of a historic sign at the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz, DPA reported.
Hogstrom and Marcin A., whose last name was withheld by law, were charged with incitement to commit theft of the sign, which is considered a relic of significant cultural value.
A second Polish man, Andrzej S., was charged with participating in the theft.
Hogstrom, a former neo-Nazi leader, has claimed he was acting on the orders of a known Nazi memorabilia collector. If convicted, he faces a jail sentence of up to 10 years.
The sign reading "Arbeit Macht Frei," (Work Sets You Free) hung over the gate of the camp in Oswiecim, southern Poland. It was stolen on December 18 last year and found three days later in the countryside after being cut into three pieces for transport purposes.
Five Poles were accused over the theft of the sign. Three have already been convicted and are serving sentences of between 18 months and two-and-a-half years.
Hogstrom was arrested in February in Stockholm and extradited to Poland in April to face charges.
The Nazi regime killed some 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, at Auschwitz during Germany's World War II occupation of Poland. dpa dam cb Author: Dominika Maslikowski