It’s been nearly a year since the theft of the infamous “Arbiet Macht Frei” sign that had once greeted prisoners destined for the death camps at Auschwitz. Though the sign was recovered just three days later, it wasn’t until yesterday that the final steps were taken so that those responsible could be brought to justice.
In March, three of the five Polish suspects involved in the theft of the sign were handed prison sentences ranging from 18 to 30 months. However, the alleged mastermind of the theft, Swede Anders Hoegstroem, a former neo-Nazi, as well as two Polish suspects, were only charged by Polish prosecutors on Thursday. Hoegstroem, who had been extradited to Poland in April, is now facing between 28 and 32 months for incitement to commit theft of the historic sign. One of the Poles, identified as Marcin A., was indicted with the same charge, while the final suspect, Andrzej S., has been charged with participating in the actual theft, though he pleaded not guilty.
Hoegstroem is expected to agree to a plea bargain to serve out his sentence in Sweden.