Since we first reported on this story, several new articles have appeared on the topic. We are posting as many pictures here as we can find. The name of the 78 year old owner of the tank has not been released. It seems that his villa had previously been searched as part of an investigation in stolen Nazi art. Prosecutors in Kiel had been alerted to the presence of the Panther and other military equipment by authorities from this previous investigation. It has been noted that almost 20 soldiers struggled to remove the tank from the villa, taking nine hours and the use of two modern AFVs to haul the tank out of it’s storage area. Ulrich Burchardi, an army spokesman, described the difficult task of removing the tank without damaging the house as “precision work”, requiring the soldiers to build a wooden ramp in order to free the tank. The other notable items found in the villa were an 88mm Flak cannon and a large torpedo.
Peter Gramsch, lawyer for the villa’s owner, claimed that the tank and the anti-aircraft gun could no longer fire their weapons and were therefore not breaking any law. The lawyer noted that there was even a note from the responsible district office from 2005 stating that the tank had lost its weapons capability. Mr Gramsch now wants to take legal action against the seizure and also for compensation for his client, stating that “I assume that the tank was damaged in the process.“ The mayor of Heikendorf, Alexander Orth, who was present at the tank’s removal, said the discovery came as no surprise. “The Mayor noted that the owner of the tank “was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978”.