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CRIME

Thieves steal Dachau death camp gate

An iron gate with the infamous sign "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") at the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau in Bavaria has been stolen, police said on Sunday.

Thieves steal Dachau death camp gate
Before and after photos at the Dachau gate. Photo: DPA

The theft of the historic wrought iron gate, which measures two metres by one metre, apparently happened overnight, police said in a statement.

The site has no surveillance system, but is monitored by security guards and the theft apparently took place between their rounds of the camp, said police, who have appealed for any possible witnesses.

The head of the foundation of memorial sites in the Bavaria region and an elected official, Karl Freller, called the theft an "ignoble act".

The Dachau camp, located a few kilometres from Munich, opened in 1933, less than two months after Adolf Hitler became German chancellor. It was initially set up as a place to incarcerate political prisoners before becoming a death camp during World War II killing more than 41,000 Jews.

The camp was liberated by US troops on April 29, 1945. Today some 800,000 visitors from around the world visit the camp each year.

The same "Work will set you free" sign at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Poland was stolen in 2009, sparking a global outcry.

The mastermind of that theft, Swedish neo-Nazi Anders Hoegstroem, was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

The metal sign was eventually recovered cut up into three pieces, leading museum officials to display a replica above the entrance until it was restored in 2011.

SEE ALSO: Police probe pupils over Hitler salutes

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CRIME

German woman ‘killed lookalike to fake her own death’

A German-Iraqi woman murdered a lookalike she found on social media to fake her own death, police have said as new details emerge of the bizarre case that first came to light last year.

German woman 'killed lookalike to fake her own death'

The body of a 23-year-old woman was found in a car in August at the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt with multiple stab wounds.

Police initially said they believed the victim owned the car, but the next day identified her as someone else who looked “remarkably similar”.

The 23-year-old German-Iraqi and a 23-year-old Kosovan man were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

However, police are now working on the theory the pair murdered the victim after tracking her down online because she looked similar to the German-Iraqi.

“Investigators now believe the female suspect wanted to go into hiding and fake her death due to family problems,” they said in a statement Monday.

She had contacted several women who looked like her via social media and attempted to lure them into meeting her by making “false promises”, the police said.

She contacted the victim in early August and arranged to meet her on August 16.

The German-Iraqi woman and the Kosovan man travelled to the victim’s home in Heilbronn, near Stuttgart, to pick her up.

On the way back to Ingolstadt, they allegedly lured her out of the vehicle in a wooded area and killed her, inflicting “a large number” of knife wounds.

The suspects then continued on to Ingolstadt, where the body was found lying in the car in the evening.

According to the daily Süddeustche Zeitung, the German-Iraqi was a beautician who entrapped the victim via Instagram by offering her cosmetics.

Both women had “long brown hair, a dark complexion and a heavily made-up face”, the newspaper said.

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