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The "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign theft from Oswiecim, Poland


Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,546
18 Dec 2009 #61
the sign was a cruel irony

Not really!
Like the Swastika it became notorious because of the holocaust but it's just another german saying like "Jedem das Seine" or similiar...

I'm not sure why they put it up there...probably because Auschwitz was planned and used as labor camp first before it became a death camp after the Wannsee conference...
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
18 Dec 2009 #62
I thought it was there because, at first, people could earn their freedom through work, and that changed...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
18 Dec 2009 #63
Freedom through work at a death camp??? Do you understand first thing about Hitler's extermination policy, PP?
OP jonni 16 | 2,485
18 Dec 2009 #64
Polish part of the large labor camp?

For most of the war it was the administrative and punishment section. It is the oldest part. Inmates of various nationalities, mainly Poles were there. Birkenau, down the road was built specifically to murder Jewish people. Though Jews were also killed by gas in the 'Arbeit Macht Frei' part, and Poles were also imprisoned and worked to death in some of the other parts.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
18 Dec 2009 #65
Expect more signs to disappear: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbeit_macht_frei
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,546
18 Dec 2009 #66
I thought it was there because, at first, people could earn their freedom through work, and that changed...

I'm not sure if I'm honest...not even that it was meant as a mockery.
You mustn't forget it started out as a labor camp for criminals (under Nazi law that is).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_concentration_camp

....
The camp was initially used for interning German criminals, then Polish intellectuals and resistance movement members, then also for Soviet Prisoners of War. Common German criminals, "anti-social elements" and 48 German homosexuals were also imprisoned there...

PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
18 Dec 2009 #67
Freedom through work at a death camp???

It wasn't a death camp, originally. Seanus, you should read back through the thread...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
18 Dec 2009 #68
Originally or not, it came to be rather quickly. Like the thread is the definitive authority, LOL.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
18 Dec 2009 #69
They built the gate when it was still a labor camp. Maybe they were planning to release people after hard labor but things went from bad to worse.
OP jonni 16 | 2,485
18 Dec 2009 #70
Maybe they were planning to release people after hard labor but things went from bad to worse.

I suspect they put people there who they expected to work to death. The Nazis weren't known for compassion towards their prisoners.
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,546
18 Dec 2009 #71
I suspect they put people there who they expected to work to death.

Not in the beginning, no...

Besides the "enemy of the state" most criminals (under Nazi law) got normally sentenced.
So even if one was sentenced to 10 years of hard labour in say....Dachau...he could expect to come free afterwards.

I think that's why they put this saying at the gates...it was surely also sold as a kind of re-education for "asocial elements" (under Nazi law that is).

Meaning some time hard labour and he is all new and again a proper member of our new Volksgemeinschaft!

Didn't had the Soviets similiar usings for their Gulags? And now the North Korean....or the Chinese...
OP jonni 16 | 2,485
18 Dec 2009 #72
Notice that the sign is placed to be read from the outside.
Wroclaw Boy
18 Dec 2009 #73
I think that's why they put this saying at the gates..

Come on Brat Boy say something nice about something other than Germany, you can do it....
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,546
19 Dec 2009 #74
Notice that the sign is placed to be read from the outside.

Well, I'm just guessing...

But I doubt all those Poles, Jews, Russians and others from everywhere about to killed as the Holocaust started seriously could understand enough german to appreciate this saying, so I doubt it was meant for them!
OP jonni 16 | 2,485
19 Dec 2009 #75
Bratwurst Boy

That's what I was thinking.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
19 Dec 2009 #76
thats easy - money, that sign is known world wide, it would be worth a fortune. You can just imagine some super rich twat hanging it in his living room bragging thats the very sign of the Auschwitz death camp and original too. Problem for them they cant brag too much as it will be reported, you cant just make history like that dissapear. To many people care.

I agree, it makes me think that it was a commissioned robbery by Neo-Nazis, of course this is purely speculation.
It is not the same as robbing the Mona Lisa or some other world famous object, we all know the horror it signifies.

e a piece of work was commissioned by an SS officer whose property was stripped from him because of his crimes, the piece of work belongs to the Polish state and not to the artist who painted the piece

What exactly are you talking about?
Post a link if possible, I am just curious.

In 300 years, WW2 will be a footnote

I think it is more to do with what it became to represent, the third-reich.

Can you and obviously only a few others really not see the symbolic and actual value of this sign?

The only people that would want it would be Neo-Nazis though, no?
As you mentioned before, it'd be reported if it were just rich people.
I am of course just speculating, I can't see anyone else bragging about it.

Sell for big cash...

Yes but it is not like a famous piece of art, that most people would like, it represents something completely different, a time, a power and a genocide.

It's not good. What will they do if they can't find it? Everybody expects to see the "Arbeit Macht Frei" gate, it is a symbol.

They have another one that they used when this one was begin restored or repaired.
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,546
19 Dec 2009 #77
The only people that would want it would be Neo-Nazis though, no?
As you mentioned before, it'd be reported if it were just rich people.
I am of course just speculating, I can't see anyone else bragging about it.

Honestly I doubt that....I rather think about a prank by some idiots!

With Neo-Nazis there should be some political gain behind it and I can't see any.
They must stay hidden, the rather useless sign must stay hidden...nothing to show for the "cause" at all.

But I can see a group of drunken yobs sitting right now giggling in some pub and enjoying all this international media bruhaha!
OP jonni 16 | 2,485
19 Dec 2009 #78
a prank by some idiots!

Quite. Students.

It may well have been people wanting a ransom though.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
19 Dec 2009 #79
Honestly I doubt that....I rather think about a prank by some idiots!

A prank?
I doubt that even more, the tools involved, the method of transport, all had to be planned with precision as capture would mean prison.
Imagine getting caught with it now, you'd be up the creek without a paddle.

Edit*

With Neo-Nazis there should be some political gain behind it and I can't see any.

A trophy would be enough, no?

Again, I am only speculating.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
19 Dec 2009 #80
the camp is not in the middle of town.

So, despite it being 2 or 3am no-one noticed two geezers walking down the road with 3m of the most famous sign in the world
or
Security didn't notice a truck waiting at the gate at 2 or 3 in the morning.
Wroclaw Boy
19 Dec 2009 #81
The only people that would want it would be Neo-Nazis though, no?

No, if it was dropped on my doorstep right now, id give them a few hundred zloty and store it quick smart. Thats worth thousands, id stash it good and proper, sell to the highest bidder, wouldnt you?
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,546
19 Dec 2009 #82
I doubt that even more, the tools involved, the method of transport, all had to be planned with precision as capture would mean prison.

As I read about it I got the impression that it was quite easy as Auschwitz isn't secured.
There is even talk about an inside job...help from someone who works FOR the museum!
OP jonni 16 | 2,485
19 Dec 2009 #83
the camp is not in the middle of town

And there's a hostel for visitors and a convent both very close, and people living across the road. It must have been very well planned indeed.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
19 Dec 2009 #84
no-one noticed two geezers walking down the road with 3m of the most famous sign in the world
or
Security didn't notice a truck waiting at the gate at 2 or 3 in the morning.

That is what makes me think it was precision planning and the tools to get the thing off and what it represents to Polish people too.

Thats worth thousands, id stash it good and proper, sell to the highest bidder, wouldnt you?

There is only one type of person that would make such a bid, a Neo-Nazi, no?

As I read about it I got the impression that it was quite easy as Auschwitz isn't secured.

I heard on the radio this morning that it was a proffesional job but I have no confirmation on that.

And there's a hostel for visitors and a convent both very close, and people living across the road. It must have been very well planned indeed.

Yes, it does make me think that.
Wroclaw Boy
19 Dec 2009 #85
As I read about it I got the impression that it was quite easy as Auschwitz isn't secured.

Of course its one of the easiest jobs going they probably didnt even use a blow torch, just bend it lose. Steeling a car stereo would have been more difficult.

What i wnat to know is were there any cameras on it?
OP jonni 16 | 2,485
19 Dec 2009 #86
What i wnat to know is were there any cameras on it?

Apparently there were, and the police are investigating why they didn't work.
Wroclaw Boy
19 Dec 2009 #87
There is only one type of person that would make such a bid, a Neo-Nazi, no?

No, its worth money regardless.
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 10,546
19 Dec 2009 #88
Manno...this tension is killing me! :)
Hopefully we will know soon...

What i wnat to know is were there any cameras on it?

Yes, I read about one but it didn't catch anything...
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
19 Dec 2009 #89
where is the gate ? Isn't it within the museum grounds ?

I seem to remember walking around with a guide for a few minutes before I got to it.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
19 Dec 2009 #90
What i wnat to know is were there any cameras on it?

I doubt it, they would have said by now.

Remember this Norway offers aid for Auschwitz upkeep about Poland basically left to fit the bill for Auschwitz. It is free in, so this might be a good time for interested parties to insure the security and maintenance of the museum.

Personally, I think there should be an admittance fee, like other death camps in the world.

No, its worth money regardless.

I know but I would not deal with anyone who wanted to by this sign because it represents genocide, no amount of money would be worth that for me. But you have a point, less scrupulous people just see it as a sign for sale.


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