Auschwitz "Arbeit Macht Frei" Sign Stolen

Did anyone else read about the infamous Auschwitz Concentration/Death Camp metal gate sign being stolen? (The translation is “Work Will Make You Free” which the Nazi’s used to give a false sense of hope to their victims)

I dont know who would want this sign removed, or why, but it is something that should always be in place for future generations to see, and I hope that they catch the thieves, and when they do, maybe if they were treated the way that the Nazi’s treated common criminals, it would be a deterrant to others so inclined to steal a piece of history. (A piece of history that needs to stand as a warning for all mankind)

ETA—Maybe I made a mistake in which forum I posted this in, so if it is better moved, please go ahead. Matthew

I guess somebody did a little Arbeit to Macht that sign Frei.

It’s a shitty thing to do, but death camps and slave labour? You’re hardcore, dude, hard core!

While I am not sure what the Nazi criminal justice system punishment for theft was, I am not suggesting that these thieves should actually be executed, but I imagine that a few years in a Polish prison would be an effective deterrant to others so inclined.

I wonder if the thieves have an idealogical statement (neo-nazi?) they are attempting to make?

It might do better in MPSIMS, so I’m moving it there.

It seems likely to me that it was a symbolic act by some neo-Nazis. They could very well be Polish, though, so I’m not sure that the prospect of a Polish prison would be a particular deterrent to them.

Why does it have to be neo-Nazis?

I’m betting this was a drunken college prank…albeit an enormously tasteless one.

Any universities near Auschwitz?

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was just stupid vandalism, but it’s hard not to wonder if there’s some type of ideology behind this. I can’t imagine there is a lot of demand for this item and it’s highly recognizable. It’s awful regardless.

Thank you.

You’ve got to admit, it does make a great last-minute stocking-stuffer.

Just for background, here’s an article about the theft.

Regardless of motive, I think we can agree that “stealing historical artifacts from a death camp preserved as a Holocaust memorial” makes someone a great big jerk.

I’ll put 10 bucks on it being some idiot taking it for his private collection or to sell to some private collector. Basic black/gray market.


If it is any comfort, there is at least an identical gate that was cast from a mold of the original – or that is my understanding at least. It is something that I remember from the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

I don’t know anything about anything, but it surprised me how many people assumed it was the work of neo-Nazis. Is it somehow an endorsement of the camp and its horrors to steal its sign? Could it not just as well be the act of someone angry at the sign and the Nazis more generally who wants to express that anger by defacing the sign?

Not that that would justify stealing the historical artifact. I’m just confused by the apparently dominant theory regarding the thieves’ motivation, when, so far as I know, there’s really nothing known about them at all.

I honestly don’t care. I wish people in general and the Jews specifically would stop dwelling on the holocaust. Let the remnants of the Nazi death machine rust and fall apart and blow away in the wind, with the rest of history’s bad ideas.

I believe the thinking is that the thieves might be suggesting the Holocaust didn’t happen.

Angry at the Nazis? It’s a little late! But that aside I find it hard to imagine someone expressing their anger at the Nazis that way.

Seems like people are still regularly killing each other based on religion and ethnicity, so I don’t think we’ve quite internalized the lesson there.

Here is a photograph of the casting. I was mistaken. It was not the entire gate that was cast, but the words were. It still gives me chills.

Argent Towers, there is much to learn about ourselves and about government and powerful leaders from knowing about the Holocaust. That is not just a cliche.

One classroom in Tennessee collected 11,000,000 paperclips (6,000,000 representing the Jewish dead) so that students could better comprehend the number of people murdered.

I hope that people never put their heads in the sand about such tragedies as the Holocaust, the killing fields of Cambodia, Stalin’s victims, and Rhodesia. But I confess that I know just almost nothing about Darfur. I guess I shouldn’t lecture.

Well, no later than any other reaction to the Nazis, for or against…