TIME Poland

2 Teenagers Arrested for Theft of Auschwitz Artifacts

Auschwitz poland robbery
Christopher Furlong—Getty Images The infamous German inscription that reads 'Work Makes Free' at the main gate of the Auschwitz extermination camp on November 15, 2014 in Oswiecim, Poland.

If convicted, the two could face up to 10 years in prison

Two British teenagers were arrested in Poland on Monday for stealing historic artifacts from Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest former Nazi death camp, which was converted into a museum at the close of World War II.

The teenagers, who have not yet been named by authorities, could face up to 10 years in prison, local police told the BBC. According to a museum spokesman, they are believed to have stolen items including buttons and pieces of glass.

In 2010, a Swedish man was convicted of plotting to steal the infamous “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work sets you free”) sign from the gate of the camp.

More than 1 million people, mostly Jews, as well as gay people and gypsies, were killed at Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945. In 1947, the site was converted to a museum and saw more than 1.2 million visitors in 2012.


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