For decades, a German man has stockpiled Nazi weapons of war in his basement, including a 45-ton Panzer-V (Panther) tank and an 88-millimeter anti-aircraft gun. Now, a German court has given him a 14-month suspended sentence and fine of about $300,000 for the arsenal, which was seized in a raid in 2015.
While it takes some effort for German citizens to legally buy and carry loaded firearms, it’s entirely prohibited to own any weapons of war. According to Insider, the man violated the Weapons Control Act by possessing military-grade weapons. His lawyers, however, argued that because most of his collection was non-functioning, he could not be charged.
The man, identified in court documents as Klaus-Dieter F. from Heikendorf, had also amassed a torpedo, 70 rifles and machine guns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and an unspecified number of semi and fully automatic pistols…
According to locals, the tank was an open secret, and the man even used it as a snowplow once during a particularly harsh winter shortly after acquiring it from an English junkyard.
He got a suspended sentence and paid a hefty fine. I’m not certain why he didn’t make the effort to become a licensed collector. That is perfectly legal in Germany and, in fact, legal collectors are now buying the collection of armaments from the police department which confiscated them. I hope he gets a piece of it to cover his $300,000 fine for breaking the law.