Friday, December 18, 2009

Yad Vashem Comment on the News that the “Arbeit macht frei” sign has been stolen

Following the news this morning that the iconic “Arbeit macht frei” [“works makes you free”] sign has been stolen from the entrance to the Auschwitz camp, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev issued the following statement:

I was shocked to learn this morning of the theft of the sign, which has come to symbolize the murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.

While we don’t yet know exactly who stole the sign, the theft of such a symbolic object is an attack on the memory of the Holocaust, and an escalation from those elements that would like to return us to darker days. I call on all enlightened forces in the world – who fight against antisemitism, racism, xenophobia and the hatred of the other, to join together to combat these trends.

I am in contact with the director of the Auschwitz Museum and have offered him any assistance and help we can provide. I am sure that the Polish authorities will do everything in their power to find the sign, and the culprits and to bring them to justice.

Over 1 million people were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau, some 90% of whom were Jews.

2 comments:

  1. How sad to think that people would want to do this, but even if someone tries to knock down the place it will not take away the fact that mass murder was commited at this place

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