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German pensioner is fined £200,000 for keeping a WWII TANK and AA gun among huge arsenal at home


German pensioner is fined £200,000 for keeping a WWII TANK and an anti-aircraft cannon among huge arsenal in his house

  • Klaus-Dieter F, 84, admitted to breaching the War Weapons Control Act
  • Handed a 14-month suspended prison sentence, ordered to pay 250,000 euros 
  • He kept the Panzer and the 88mm flak gun inside a basement under his home 
  • Also recovered were a torpedo, mortar, 70 assault rifles and 2,000 bullets 

A German pensioner has been fined more than £200,000 for keeping a WWII tank and an anti-aircraft cannon stashed in a colossal arsenal at his house.

The 84-year-old, named only as Klaus-Dieter F. due to local privacy laws, kept the Panzer and the 88mm flak gun in a bunker under his home in Heikendorf, close to the northern city of Kiel. 

Klaus-Dieter admitted 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.

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 last month

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 last month

Klaus-Dieter F, 84, admitted to breaching the War Weapons Control Act at the court in Kiel

Klaus-Dieter F, 84, admitted to breaching the War Weapons Control Act at the court in Kiel

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

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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.’

Klaus-Dieter 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.

The 84-year-old kept the Panzer and the 88mm flak gun in a bunker under his home in Heikendorf, close to the northern city of Kiel

The 84-year-old kept the Panzer and the 88mm flak gun in a bunker under his home in Heikendorf, close to the northern city of Kiel

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.

Klaus-Dieter has already been inundated by prospective buyers for the tank, including a museum in Seattle, while a private collector in Germany is keen on the AA gun, according to local media.

The Panzer was one of the most fearsome tanks of WWII and regarded as possibly the best fielded by any side in the war.

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