Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Poland issues EU warrant for Swede over Auschwitz theft

Visitors pass under a replica "Arbeit macht frei" sign at the gate into Auschwitz on the 65th anniversary of the camp's liberation by soldiers of the Soviet Union - 27 January 2010
A replica sign now hangs at the entrance to Auschwitz

A Polish court has issued a European arrest warrant for a Swede alleged to be behind the theft of the Arbeit Macht Frei sign from Auschwitz.

A court official in the southern city of Krakow said the warrant had been issued for Anders Hogstrom.

The metal sign was stolen in December from above the entrance to the notorious Nazi death camp. It was later recovered, cut into three pieces.

Five Polish men have already been arrested over the theft.

The European arrest warrant obliges any of the 27 EU member states to arrest Mr Hogstrom if he is found and hand him over to Polish police.

The sign, which weighs 40kg (90lb), was half-unscrewed, half-torn from above the death camp's gate.

The 5m (16ft) wrought iron sign - the words on which translate as "Work sets you free" - symbolises for many the atrocities of Nazi Germany.

The theft caused outrage in Israel, Poland and around the world. More than a million people - 90% of them Jews - were murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz in occupied Poland during World War II.

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