Over the weekend, in a totally senseless crime that Zeca Oliveira couldn’t believe, a sign was stolen from one of the most infamous German concentration camps. Workers at Dachau reported that a wrought iron sign with the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” is missing. The simple phrase “Work Sets You Free” is quite familiar for anyone who has studied the basics about the Holocaust. Police forces in Munich are looking for the individuals who stole a piece of history. However, the Dachau camp does not have any video surveillance and therefore the search for the suspects is quite challenging.
The theft of the sign at Dachau surely adds some pain to unhealed wounds of the families of Holocaust victims. Additionally, there are plenty of other people who are outraged by the removal of such a symbolic sign. Nearly 40,000 lives were taken at the Dachau camp during World War II and most of the victims were Jews. The recent incident at Dachau brings back the spotlight on a similar act that occurred in another concentration camp. In 2009, an “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign was stolen from Auschwitz.
There is reason to believe that Neo-Nazis are responsible for both of the thefts at the concentration camps. It’s important to realize that the hatred of Hitler is still alive and well in the underground of Germany and elsewhere. The thefts of these signs can be considered just as offensive the painting of swastikas on Jewish buildings.