Monday 11 January 2010

Former Swedish neo-Nazi confirms involvement in Auschwitz sign robbery

A former Swedish neo-Nazi suspected of involvement in the theft of the infamous Nazi German "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign from Auschwitz said he had acted as a middleman. "My role was to go get the sign in Poland. I was the middleman and was supposed to take care of the sale," Anders Högström, 34, told the Swedish daily Expressen. In 1994, he had founded the National Socialist Front, a Swedish neo-Nazi movement that he headed for five years before quitting and joining an association called Exit which helps youths quit extreme-right movements.

Polish prosecutors said last Wednesday they wanted to question three Swedish residents over the 18 December theft of the sign. Five Poles have already been arrested and charged with theft and damage. They face up to ten years in prison.

According to Expressen, Högström claimed the sign was to be sold for several million kronor which was to be used to finance terror attacks against the Swedish parliament and government. "But that was not something I wanted to be involved in or carry out, in any way," he told the paper. "I contacted the police immediately, as soon as the sign was stolen, and gave them all the information I had. I haven't committed any crime. I was the one who saw to it that the sign was found."

The sign above Auschwitz's entry gate has long symbolized the horror of the Nazi death camp in occupied Poland, which was in operation until Soviet troops liberated it on 27 January 1945.

World Jewish Congress

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