Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Burglars hit Stasi museum in Berlin

Burglars hit Stasi museum in Berlin

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Burglers targeted the Stasi Museum in Berlin, stealing medals and jewellery, police said. JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP

Burglars hit Stasi museum in Berlin

Burglar broke into Berlin’s Stasi Museum, which showcases items of East Germany’s hated secret police, making off with collectable medals and gold jewellery, authorities said on Sunday, days after a spectacular diamond heist in Dresden.

The robbers broke in through a window on the first floor, “smashed several showcases, and stole medals and jewellery”, police said.

They made off with their spoils undetected.

The time of the raid was unclear but a museum employee found showcases smashed in the exhibition rooms on Sunday morning.

Museum director Joerg Drieselmann told the Tagesspiegel daily that among the medals taken were a gold Patriotic Order of Merit, an Order of Karl Marx – the highest honour awarded in the former communist East Germany – and an Order of Lenin.

Stolen jewellery included rings and a watch, he said.

The items were confiscated by the Stasi from private individuals. After the collapse of the communist regime, many items were returned to their owners. But some that remained unclaimed were on loan to the Stasi Museum as part of its exhibition.

“These are not huge treasures. But we are a history museum and don’t expect people to break in,” the museum chief was quoted as saying.

The latest robbery came hot on the heels of a brazen heist at the Green Vault museum in Dresden’s Royal Palace on November 25.

Having sparked a partial power cut before breaking in through a window, the thieves stole priceless 18th-century diamond jewellery – including the famous 49-carat Dresden white – from the collection of the Saxon ruler August the Strong.

Police are still hunting four suspects, and have offered €500,000 ($550,000) as a reward for information leading to an arrest or recovery of the stolen goods.

Investigators are also in contact with colleagues in Berlin to explore possible connections to a similar heist in the capital two years ago.

In 2017, a 100kg 24-carat giant gold coin was stolen from Berlin’s Bode Museum.

Four men with links to a notorious Berlin gang were later arrested and put on trial.

The coin has never been recovered, and fears are growing that the Dresden treasures will also remain lost forever.


  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Sokha lodges an appeal over treason case reaching court

    Kem Sokha, the president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has appealed against the decision to send his treason case to trial. Sokha’s legal team said their client was not satisfied with the decision of a Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating

  • Gov’t approves $9B worth of building projects in 2019

    The government has approved more than $9 billion this year for capital investment in the construction sector, a nearly 80 per cent increase on last year, with most of the growth coming from projects in Sihanoukville, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea

  • Transport master plan nearing completion

    The government has nearly finished the draft of the Intermodal Transport Master Plan 2021-2030 (the Plan), a Ministry of Economy and Finance press release said on Wednesday. The draft seeks to promote Cambodia’s connectivity, reduce transportation and logistics costs, integrate the Kingdom into the

  • PP residents urged to use public transport

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol has urged Phnom Penh residents to use the capital’s existing public transport services rather than private vehicles, as it is leading to increased traffic congestion. He also called for the city’s public bus system to