December 19, 2009

Thieves plunder Auschwitz for infamous sign

by Benjamin Graham

Thieves have taken the infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” iron sign from the Auschwitz memorial site, Polish police said yesterday.

The sign, German for “Work Sets You Free”, was taken from the gate of the memorial site.

During the Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of prisoners passed under the sign, which was made by prisoners.

Over a million prisoners, the majority of them Jews, were murdered at Auschwitz during the Second World War.

The sign was taken early on Friday morning in what Auschwitz officials believe was a planned attack.

Thieves unscrewed the sign on one side, and wrenched it off the other, a police spokeswoman said.

Polish president Lech Kaczynski said the thieves who had stolen the sign were “insane”.

‚ÄúThis crime has been committed by a completely insane person,” a spokesperson for the president said.

“Auschwitz is priceless. This act merits strong condemnation.”

The missing sign, which is sometimes removed for conservation work, has been replaced by a replica.

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