An American tourist tried to steal a piece of metal from the train tracks at the Auschwitz – Birkenau extermination camp.
The 37 years old tourist from the United States was accused of attempted theft of a cultural item, according to the reps of the Oswiecim police, a city south of Poland, a city that was under German occupation during World War II.
The American tourist now risks up to 10 years in prison. The police said that the man admitted to what he did, and he was released pending further notice from the authorities.
The representative of the Auschwitz – Birkenau museum said that the security of the museum notified the police after the man was caught trying to steal a metallic part from the train tracks.
Many acts of stealing and vandalism occurred in the last few years at Auschwitz. In 2009, a man stole a sign with the Nazi slogan ” Arberit Macht Frei ” from the main gate of the camp. Discovered a few days later cut into pieces, the sign was restored and deposited in a safe place, being replaced with a replica. The man who stole the sign, a former Swedish Neo-Nazi, received a 2 years prison sentence.
Details of the theft are coming out in the context in which 700 Holocaust artifacts were transported to New York for the Museum of Jewish Heritage exposition. The exponents also include a train similar to those that were used to transport men, women and children to Auschwitz and to other extermination camps.
Approximately 1.1 million people were killed during World War II at the Auschwitz – Birkenau extermination camp, the most popular extermination camp of Germany during the Nazi regime. Besides Jewish people, many Polish and Russian prisoners of war were killed there.