Germany: "Arbeit macht frei" gate stolen from Dachau concentration camp
Someone has stolen the original gate to the former concentration camp of Dachau with the cynical Nazi slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work sets you free"). Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that the stolen doorway was part of the gate at the main entrance.
A private security service noted the theft in the early morning hours of Sunday and informed police. The doors, made of cast iron, were still in place shortly before midnight.
The black doors are almost one meter wide and two meters high. A perpetrator or perpetrators would have first had to climb over another gate in order to access the campus.
A vehicle was then most likely used to transport the gate away. Searches in the area around the memorial, which is not far from Munich, have produced no results yet.
Police are unable to say whether neo-Nazis are behind the theft or whether some peculiar collector is to blame. Dachau was the Nazis' first large, permanent concentration camp and became a model for subsequent similar facilities.
According to records, more than 200 000 people passed through the camp, at least 30 000 of whom did not survive it. Attempts at stealing objects, particularly of a memorial nature, are made rather often at the former concentration camps.
The biggest such disruption occurred in 2009 on the campus of the former death camp of Auschwitz, where the metal sign reading "Arbeit macht frei" was stolen from the gate. Anders Högström, a former neo-Nazi leader in Sweden, was sentenced by a Polish court to more than two and a half years in prison for organizing that theft.
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