Warsaw: A Polish court on Thursday sentenced
three men to up to two-and-a-half years in prison for stealing
the infamous "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign from the Auschwitz death
camp, a spokeswoman told agency.
"Pawel S was sentenced to one-and-a-half years, Lukasz
M to two years and four months, and Radoslaw M to
two-and-a-half years," said Krakow court spokeswoman Andzelika
Michalik, following the standard Polish practice of only
providing first names and initials.
The trio, who acknowledged their role in the December
theft, were also fined USD 3,560 each, Michalik said.
"They can appeal," she added.
The sign was stolen late on December 17 or early
December 18 from the gate of the notorious camp, which was run
by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and is
now a museum and memorial.
It was recovered by Polish police less than three days
after the theft and a total of five Polish men were arrested
The thieves already had criminal records for theft and
violence, but were not from the far right, investigators said.
The remaining two Poles have yet to come to trial
because Polish investigators are waiting for the extradition
of Anders Hoegstroem, a Swedish former neo-Nazi leader also
wanted in the case.