The German rozzers raided a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel on Wednesday (July 2), and found a Nazi tank from 1943 hidden in the cellar, alongside a torpedo and "other weaponry".
The Local reported that the raid took place under the orders of the town's prosecutors, who suspect the villa's owner held the Nazi-era weaponry illegally, due to a law controlling the possession of instruments of war.
Kiel's prosecutors were apparently alerted to the presence of the military hardware by Berlin prosecutors, who had searched the property about a month earlier for stolen Nazi art.
The villa owner's lawyer has claimed that, as the tank could no longer fire its weapons, he was therefore not in breach of any law, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper also sourced a complaint from Alexander Orth, mayor of the nearby Keikendorf municipality, who said: "He was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978."
The mayor declined to pass judgement on the villa owner, who is said to be in his 70s.
"Some people like steam trains, others like tanks," he reportedly pointed out.
A police spokesperson informed The Local that a torpedo had been removed from the building on Wednesday, but could not confirm whether it was a WW2 model.
Additionally, by Thursday afternoon, the police had singularly failed in their attempts to stage a blitzkrieg operation, having not managed to remove the 1943-vintage Panther, despite the German army themselves wading into the issue by sending modern recovery vehicles – designed to remove damaged tanks from the battlefield – to help extract it. ®