German Pensioner Given £200,000 Hefty Fine for WW2 Tank in House

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A German pensioner has been fined greater than £200,000 for keeping a WWII tank and an anti-aircraft cannon stashed in a colossal arsenal at his home, says an article published on mail online news website.

German Pensioner

Retired broker Klaus-Dieter Flick, 84, kept the Panzer and the 88mm flak gun in a bunker under his home in Heikendorf, close to the northern city of Kiel. 

Flick told the judge he bought the tank as scrap in Britain in 1977, and had even paid the Bundeswehr £25,000 to repair the engine.

But he agreed to plead guilty to breaching the War Weapons Control Act and was handed a 14-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay 250,000 euros (£213,000).

As well as the tank and cannon, he was also in possession of a torpedo, mortar, 70 assault rifles and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

Police stumbled on the huge haul in 2015 when carrying out a search for Nazi-era bronze sculptures which reportedly decorated his back garden.

At the time the local mayor, Alexander Orth, had told the local paper of the tank: ‘He was chugging around in that thing during the snow disaster in 1978.’

Flick was also found to have a large collection of Nazi memorabilia including SS uniforms, but he was not charged in relation to these items.

Under German law it is illegal to display Nazi symbols unless they are kept for educational or historical reasons.

The pensioner’s lawyers had argued that the weaponry was completely decommissioned and posed no threat, but the judge threw out the argument and urged his legal team to reach a plea deal with prosecutors.

Although the pensioner is facing a colossal fine, the judge was swayed not to confiscate the tank or the AA gun, but ordered that they must be sold within the next two years.

However, a team of 20 Bundeswehr soldiers were dispatched to remove the 44-ton Panzer and the cannon in an operation involving two transport vehicles and taking nine hours.

Summary 

  • A German pensioner has been fined greater than £200,000 for keeping a WWII tank and an anti-aircraft cannon stashed in a colossal arsenal at his home.
  • Flick told the judge he bought the tank as scrap in Britain in 1977, and had even paid the Bundeswehr £25,000 to repair the engine.
  • Under German law it is illegal to display Nazi symbols unless they are kept for educational or historical reasons.
  • Pensioner is facing a colossal fine, the judge was swayed not to confiscate the tank or the AA gun, but ordered that they must be sold within the next two years.

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Source: dailymail

 

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