Auschwitz Thieves Fail to Report to Jail

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WARSAW (AP) — The three men found guilty last month of secondary roles in the theft of the notorious sign at the Auschwitz concentration camp failed to report to prison this week when they were to start serving their sentences, a judge said Wednesday.


The men were to have appeared at a prison in the Polish city of Wloclawek on Tuesday. The police will now try to find and detain them, said Rafal Lisak, a judge at a Krakow court that convicted the men in March.

In all, six people — five Poles and a Swedish citizen — have been charged with involvement in stealing the sign with the cynical slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” — “Work Sets You Free” — from the site of Auschwitz in December.

The three who were to have begun their prison terms this week agreed to plea bargains with the court, confessing to their involvement in return for more lenient sentences. They were given sentences ranging from 18 to 30 months in prison.

Judge Lisak said it was normal procedure to release defendants with sentences shorter than three years after their sentencing and before their prison terms were scheduled to begin.

The men’s roles in the theft have not been made public.

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