Nazi’s ‘Work Sets You Free’ slogan disappeared three days earlier
WARSAW, Poland - Polish police found the infamous "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign that was stolen from the gate of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz after an intensive three-day hunt and arrested five suspects, police said early Monday. The sign was found cut into three pieces.
Police spokeswoman Katarzyna Padlo said that the sign was found Sunday night in northern Poland, the other end of the country from the southern Polish town where the Auschwitz memorial museum is located and where it disappeared before dawn Friday.
Padlo said police detained five men between the ages of 25 and 39 and took them for questioning to Krakow, which is the regional command of the area that includes the Auschwitz museum.
Another police spokesman, Dariusz Nowak, said the 16-foot sign, made of hollow steel, was found cut into three pieces, each containing one of the words. The cruelly ironic phrase means "Work Sets You Free" and ran completely counter to the purpose of Auschwitz, which began as a concentration camp for political prisoners during the Nazi occupation of Poland and evolved into an extermination camp where Jews were gassed to death in factory-like fashion.
The police refused to divulge any details of the circumstances in which the sign was found or to speculate on the motive of the perpetrators. They were expected to disclose more at a news conference in Krakow planned for 0800 GMT (3 a.m. EST) Monday.
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