Auschwitz sign stealer sentenced to prison

(JTA) — A Swedish neo-Nazi leader who organized the theft of the "Arbeit Macht Frei” sign from Auschwitz was sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

A Polish court on Thursday sentenced Anders Hogstrom, who acted as a middleman between a neo-Nazi buyer and five Polish thieves, to 32 months in prison, according to news reports. The sentence was part of a plea bargain struck in late November. Hogstrom faced up to 10 years in prison. He will serve his sentence in a Swedish prison.

The iron sign, which measures 16 feet across and means "Work makes you free," was stolen from the former Nazi concentration camp on Dec. 18, 2009 and recovered elsewhere in the country 72 hours later. It was found cut into three pieces.

Hogstrom, who was arrested in February in Stockholm and extradited to Poland in April, founded the National Socialist Front, a Swedish neo-Nazi movement, in 1994.

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