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84-year-old German had WW2 tank in his cellar

July 27, 2021 | Comment icon 20 comments

Not your average ornament. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Torsten Morke
Lawyers are currently negotiating penalties for a German man who was storing 'weapons of war' in his cellar.
The peculiar story began in 2015 when a significant amount of World War II weaponry was removed from the cellar of a pensioner who lived in the northern German town of Heikendorf.

Among his collection was a full-size Panther tank, an anti-aircraft gun, a torpedo and a large selection of small arms including assault rifles and pistols.

Keeping such items is considered illegal in the country due to Germany's War Weapons Control Act which forbids the manufacture, sale, storage or transport of weapons used during wartime.
The authorities were reportedly tipped off after a search was conducted for stolen Nazi art.

The man now faces two problems - a potentially hefty fine of up to 500,000 Euros and the unenviable task of finding new homes for all the items.

His lawyers have argued that, since the weapons are nonfunctional and the tank was originally bought for scrap, the fine should be reduced to 50,000 Euros.

It is believed that a museum in the US has expressed an interest in acquiring the vehicle.

A final decision on the case is expected next month.

Source: BBC News | Comments (20)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by toast 3 months ago
What has the German government to do with that story?
Comment icon #12 Posted by aztek 3 months ago
none of those things were functional weapons, WTF, they remind me of another German gvmnt, in 30s and 40s,
Comment icon #13 Posted by aztek 3 months ago
oh yea, they come from all over the world
Comment icon #14 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 3 months ago
Yeah your right. First of all let's start with your vehicle. Vehicles kill and maim more people than weapons of all kinds. Yeah Apples and Oranges, yet it's still something you own.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Seti42 3 months ago
You cannot compare cars (or any utility, tool, vehicle, etc.) with guns (or weapons of any kind) for one simple reason. A weapon only has one purpose: to kill.  Vehicles, tools, utilities, etc. all have many purposes...None of those purposes are killing. Any injury or death is not the goal, unlike with a weapon.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 3 months ago
I guess you missed the part about comparing apples and oranges. Weapons are also tools especially when it comes to self-defense. Just imagine what would have been the outcome in those 67,740 times a year where people lacked the tool to protect ones property or life.  
Comment icon #17 Posted by toast 3 months ago
The district court of Kiel has sentenced the former owner of the devices to a suspended sentence of 14 month for unauthorized possession of weapons, ammunition and explosives. In addition, he was sentenced to a fine of 250k Euros (296kUSD). It was agreed in court that he has to sell the military stuff within 2 years, a museum in Seattle has already indicated interest for the "Panther" tank.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Myles 2 months ago
They should have given him a reward, not punished him.   I hope he can afford the penalty OK.  
Comment icon #19 Posted by toast 2 months ago
A reward for breaking laws?
Comment icon #20 Posted by jethrofloyd 2 months ago
Uppdate: German pensioner given hefty fine for WW2 tank in house  

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