Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Auschwitz memento thief is top Herzliya official

Motti Posloszny and his wife were fined and given two-year suspended sentences for stealing items from the former Nazi death camp.

Motti Posloszny, a deputy city manager for Herzliya, is the Israeli who was convicted, together with his wife, of stealing historic artifacts from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.

Yesterday morning Posloszny summoned employees of the municipality's supervision and environment department, which he heads, and told them what had happened. Posloszny, himself a child of Holocaust survivors, had earlier submitted his resignation to Herzliya Mayor Yael German.

Municipal officials were shocked by the disclosure, as his performance on the job had been highly regarded.

"He said he made a mistake," one official said. "I don't know what would come over a man to make him steal from Auschwitz. It's completely insane."

"It's very sad - for him, for his family and for the municipality," the official added. "This is the largest department in Herzliya; it has everything. This is inconceivable."

Posloszny returned to Israel on Sunday after having spent a night in a Polish jail. He and his wife were fined and given a two-year suspended sentence; the Polish prosecutor said the fine would be used to help preserve exhibits at the camp, which now serves as a museum. Posloszny could not be reached for comment yesterday.

According to Reuters, the couple stole nine items - including spoons, knives, scissors and porcelain bottle stoppers - from a warehouse where the personal effects seized from prisoners at the former Nazi camp are stored. They were arrested at the Krakow airport with the items in their possession.


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