Det oppsiktsvekkende tyveriet av portalen over inngangen til Auschwitz, ett av verdenshistoriens mest beryktede, med teksten Arbeit macht frei, ble visstnok bestilt av en velstående britisk nazi-samler/sympatisør bosatt i Sverige. Han skal ha utlovet en stor sum penger, penger som svenske nazister hadde tenkt å innkassere og bruke til politisk arbeid i Sverige.
The British tabloid Sunday Mirror reported that an unnamed wealthy British Nazi sympathizer living in Sweden was the impetus for last month’s theft, but investigators have not confirmed that.
The British collector reportedly let it be known in the wider neo-Nazi scene that he was prepared to pay a large amount of money for the sign, the recent theft of which has caused a global stir.
The collector wanted it as a trophy – and used his neo-Nazi contacts to put word out he was prepared to pay huge money for it,» a source in Sweden told the Mirror.
A Polish man, identified as Marcin A, has been remanded to three months of pre-trial custody, on charges of organizing the theft.
The four men who allegedly performed the actual theft are being held for the same period as they await trial. If found guilty, they could face up to 10 years in prison.
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.
The Sunday Mirror quoted the source as saying the plan had been to ship the sign to a group of Swedish neo-Nazis, who would keep it in a cellar in Stockholm until they could transfer it to the British collector.
The paper reported that, had the sale gone through, the money would have been used to fund neo-Nazi projects in Sweden, including possible plans to disrupt elections scheduled for this year.