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Arrest for Auschwitz Sign Theft

Published torsdag 11 februari 2010 kl 15.30
The entrance to Auschwitz, shown here in 1998.

Updated 7:01 PM

Swedish police have apprehended a 35-year-old Swede suspected of being the brain behind the theft of the notorious “Arbeit macht frei” sign from the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.

He had been charged in his absence following a European arrest warrant issued by a Polish court. He was reportedly taken into custody in Stockholm and interrogated at once.

The man was one of Sweden's most prominent neo-Nazis during the 1990s, and a leading figure in transforming the group National Socialist Front into a political party during that time.

Ten years ago, however, he pubicly distanced himself from Nazism, according to news bureau TT.

For unknown reasons, the man is said to have hired a Polish man in the construction business to steal the infamous sign, which translates to "Work Sets You Free." It disappeared from the former Nazi death camp on December 18 last year, and five Polish men are already in custody, suspected of participating in the heist.

The sign was later recovered in a forest, cut into three pieces.

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