(photo credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel)
Moti Posloshani, a colonel in the reserves and a senior official in the Herzliya
Municipality, and his wife, Dominique, were named Tuesday as the couple
convicted last week of stealing mementos from Auschwitz.
RELATED:Israelis sentenced for theft of Auschwitz
returned to Israel on Monday and resigned from his role with the Herzliya local
The couple, who are related to Holocaust survivors, were
sentenced in Poland to a twoyear suspended jail sentence and a NIS 5,000 fine
In an interview given to Israel Radio on Tuesday, Posloshani said,
“We apologize. It was an error in judgment.”
He also tried to explain his
actions, saying that he took rusted cutlery that he found in the mud with the
intention of bringing the items back to Israel and perhaps giving them to Yad
He said that the couple “wanted to take them as a memento from a
place that holds great significance for us.
We did not take items that
were on display, as reported in the media. We found the items in an area where
prisoners arrived and were undressed. It looks as though they threw the items
away and tried to bury them. We found them in the mud – items that were buried
years ago rise to the surface occasionally.”
The couple had been charged
earlier last week with the theft of mementos of particular cultural importance,
an offense that carries a maximum 10- year jail sentence.
They spent a
night in jail after border guards at the airport in Krakow caught them trying to
take several Auschwitz artifacts out of the country.
spokesman Dariusz Nowak said the couple took nine items – including spoons,
knives, scissors and porcelain bottle stoppers – they had found in a room
storing prisoner belongings during a visit to Auschwitz, now a museum.