German wants to pay for stolen bike

A German man who stole a bike in the town of Nijkerk at the end of World War II wants to compensate its owners, the Nederlands Dagblad reports on Friday.

The paper says the soldier took the bike when he was fleeing from the Canadian troops who helped liberate the Netherlands in 1945.
But he has now written to the local Catholic church saying he wants to pay the owner or his relations for the loss. Church officials are now trying to track down the original owner of the stolen bike, the paper says.
Thousands of Dutch bikes were stolen by escaping Germans at the end of the war.
At the end of last year, Dutch cardinal Ad Simonis was given a brand new bike by the bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart to replace one taken from his little sister in the last days of the war.