Two men have been charged with stealing documents from the national archives that are concerned with Danish collaborations with Nazis during World War Two.
The men, aged 45 and 53, are charged with stealing at least 1,062 documents from the national archives, Rigsarkivet, and the regional archives, Landsarkivet for Sjælland, between 2009 and 2012. They are also being charged with selling some of the documents for 38,060 kroner, though the total haul could have fetched between 1.5 and three million kroner, according to Berlingske newspaper.
Kristoffer Petersen, a prosecutor for Copenhagen Police, said the thefts demonstrated that the men had a special interest in Danish Nazi sympathisers and Danes who fought for Værnemagten, the German military occupation force.
“[The documents were] partly about Danes who fought for the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front, but also Danes who served under the Germans in Schalburgkorpset in Denmark,” Petersen told Berlingske. Schalburgkorpset was a German military corps comprised of Danish Nazi sympathisers.
The men have been held in custody since they were arrested in October. Police raids on their homes uncovered not only the vast trove of archive material, but also a large number of non-functional weapons that included a pistol, 13 hand grenades and three anti-rockets.
While none of the weapons contained explosives, the men will still be charged with breaking weapons laws.
The 53-year-old has already pleaded guilty to another charge of stealing documents that belonged to the royal institution Ordenskapitlet, which is responsible for handing out royal orders such as the Order of the Elephant.
The documents, which were not unique, had been sent to the company Renoflex, where the 53-year-old worked, for destruction. But instead of destroying the documents, the 53-year-old chose to take them home.