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  1. ITV Report

British teenagers held over Auschwitz 'theft' fined

Auschwitz concentration camp. Credit: RTV

Two British teenagers suspected of stealing items from Auschwitz during a school trip have been released after being fined around £170.

The 17-year-old boys, who denied any wrongdoing, were also given a one-year probation, suspended for three years.

ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman reports:

Had they been found guilty of theft, they could have been jailed for up to 10 years in prison.

The boys were found with a fragment of hair clippers, spoons, some buttons and two pieces of glass which belonged to Auschwitz prisoners during World World Two.

They were apprehended in warehouse number five - known as Canada - where the belongings of the Auschwitz arrivals were seized during the Holocaust.

The items belonging to former Auschwitz prisoners which were seized by police. Credit: RTV

The Holocaust Educational Trust's chief executive, Karen Pollock, said: "This is absolutely shocking and shows gross disregard to the memory of the Holocaust."

A statement from Perse School in Cambridge, which the boys attend, said the teenagers have "apologised unreservedly for the offence they have given."

Headmaster Ed Elliott added: "There will be a full and thorough investigation into what occurred.

"I want to hear directly from the boys as to what led them to take these items. I want to ensure that all necessary lessons are learnt."

Visitors have tried to steal artefacts as souvenirs from the museum in the past.

In 2010, a Swedish man was jailed for organising the theft of the Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Makes You Free) sign from the entry gate of Auschwitz.

More than one million people were murdered at the concentration camp.