Sunday, December 20, 2009

Auchwitz Sign Found; Five In Custody

Auschwitz sign found in three pieces

Polish police said on Monday that they had found the infamous "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign that was stolen on Friday from the gate of the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

Katarzyna Padlo, a police spokesman, said that police had also detained five young men and were planning to question them.

She added that the sign, which means "Work Sets You Free" and symbolises the cruelty of Nazi Germany, had been cut into three pieces.

Neo-Nazi groups were initially blamed for the act described by police as "professionally planned", and which happened at three o'clock on Friday morning.

Police said that once the criminals had removed the sign they carried it some 400 metres before taking it through a hole cut in a fence. After that it was, apparently, loaded onto a vehicle but investigators are puzzled as to just how the thieves managed to remove the 16-foot long and heavy cast-iron sign without anybody noticing.

The sign, made by a prisoner, was erected by the Nazis after the Auschwitz barracks were converted into a labour camp to house Polish resistance fighters in 1940.

Auschwitz was later expanded into a vast death camp, after the Nazis razed the nearby village of Brzezinka – Birkenau in German – and was the site of the murder of more than 1.1 million people, mainly Jews, during the Second World War.

Holocaust deniers have targeted the concentration camp in the past, stealing soil and other artefacts in an attempt to demonstrate that the systematic murder of Jews has been exaggerated.

Via The Telegraph

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