German teacher caught smuggling inmates’ possessions from Auschwitz


A teacher from Germany was arrested at Auschwitz after being caught with items that belonged to Holocaust victims.

The 47-year-old educator on Tuesday admitted to taking the items from an area where possessions of the former concentration camp inmates had been stored during World War II. He said he wanted to show the items to his students, who are studying the Holocaust.

The teacher pleaded guilty and was levied a suspended jail sentence and a fine by a local court, the French news agency AFP reported. He could have faced up to 10 years in prison for stealing goods of special cultural importance.

The man’s bag held 10 items, including a fork, a fragment of scissors and pieces of pottery, gathered from an area where warehouses once stood. The warehouses, called “Canada” by the inmates, were set on fire at the end of the war by the Nazis.

Toronto woman charged in Holocaust claims case


A woman living in Toronto was charged in the United States with taking part in a scheme to steal from a Holocaust survivors’ fund.

Documents obtained by the CBC, the state-owned broadcaster, show that the FBI alleges Luba Kramrish was part of a conspiracy that falsified documents to claim money from a special fund created by Germany after the Second World War.

The fund, administered by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, was earmarked for Holocaust survivors who fled parts of the Soviet Union ahead of advancing Nazi troops, and those who survived ghettos and concentration camps.

Last year, the FBI announced charges against several U.S. citizens allegedly involved in the scheme.

Kramrish is alleged to have falsified details for her mother’s application to the fund and that once she realized how to cheat the system, began recruiting some two-dozen other applicants. A court document states that “Kramrish provided documents for approximately 20-25 different cases. [She] helped falsify these applications so that they would be approved.”

The indictment says Kramrish took a cut of every payout.

The conspiracy to steal from the fund was uncovered in the U.S. just over two years ago. The investigation is still underway, but it is estimated that at least $60 million has been siphoned from the fund.

About $6 billion has been paid out to about 450,000 survivors since the funds were made available.

Kramrish’s Canadian lawyer declined comment to the CBC.

Israeli soldier jailed for stealing from Marmara


An Israeli soldier who stole electronic equipment from an intercepted ship bound for Gaza was sentenced to jail.

The soldier was sentenced under a plea bargain Monday by an Israeli military court to five months in jail. He also was fined and demoted for removing the items from the Mavi Marmara ship, which Israeli commandos boarded on May 31. Violent resistance on the Turkish ship led to the deaths of nine Turkish nationals, including a dual Turkish-American citizen.

The soldier, who also was removed from an officers training course, reportedly stole the items—a laptop computer, camera lenses and a compass—while the ship was docked in the Israeli port at Ashdod.

In court, the soldier expressed remorse for his actions and apologized.

Three other soldiers are to be brought to trial for the looting incident, according to Ynet.