Jewishupdates's Blog

December 18, 2009

Thieves Steal Auschwitz Entrance Sign ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 1:59 pm

Thieves Steal Auschwitz Entrance Sign ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’

A gang of thieves in Poland has stolen the infamous wrought-iron sign announcing “work sets you free” that spans the main gate of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The long curving sign “Arbeit macht Frei” was erected by the Nazis soon after the old Auschwitz barracks was converted into a labor and extermination centre in 1940 and was supposed to suggest that hard work could eventually allow inmates to walk free.

But as Auschwitz was turned into a major hub for the Holocaust, murdering over a million people, the majority of them Jews HY”D, the sign became a mocking, cynical commentary.

“It seems that a gang of perhaps three people unscrewed the sign between three o’clock and five o’clock on Friday morning,” said the spokesman for the police in southern Poland, Dariusz Nowak, “they must have used a ladder and had a car waiting for them.”

Video camera footage is being analysed. Dog teams are being used to hunt through the 20 square kilometres surrounding the camp.

The Jewish community in Poland and the Israel authorities expressed deep shock and dismay

Police say they are investigating all possible options. The obvious explanation seems to be that the theft – carefully planned said Inspector Nowak – was carried out by neo-Nazis.

The camp museum directors have already stated that a replica has been made of “Arbeit macht Frei”. The neo-Nazis could try to establish that the sign is fake – and thus, by extension, claim that much of the camp is as well.

“We have already installed a replica sign over the gate,” said Mr Mensfelt, “We used it in the past when the original was being repaired. I hope the original will quickly be retrieved and the thieves caught.

“This is not only a theft but a horrible profanation in a place where more than a million people were murdered, in the biggest such site in this part of the world. It is a disgraceful act.”

(Source: Times Online UK / YWN-112)

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=43527

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