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Tourists charged with stealing bricks from Auschwitz memorial

News Desk

Agence France-Presse

Warsaw, Poland  /  Mon, July 16, 2018  /  12:03 pm
Tourists charged with stealing bricks from Auschwitz memorial

The entrance to the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau with the lettering 'Arbeit macht frei' ('Work makes you free') in Oswiecim, Poland. (AFP/Joel Saget)

Two Hungarian tourists have admitted to trying to steal bricks from the ruins of a crematorium at the site of the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, according to police.

The 30-year-old woman and 36-year-old man were caught on Saturday when another pair of foreign tourists saw them stuffing the bricks into a bag and notified security. 

"The man and woman were charged with theft of a cultural asset. They both admitted to wrongdoing," said regional police press officer Mateusz Drwal.

"They explained that they had wanted to bring back a souvenir and didn't realize the consequences of their actions," he told the Polish news agency PAP.

Read also: Auschwitz trial files classed UNESCO heritage

The Hungarian tourists were each fined 1,500 zloty ($400) and handed a suspended sentence of one year in jail. 

Auschwitz-Birkenau has become a symbol of Nazi Germany's genocide of European Jews, one million of whom were killed at the camp between 1940 to 1945.

More than 100,000 others including non-Jewish Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and anti-Nazi resistance fighters also died there.