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Auschwitz sign stolen, recovered

The news that the infamous “Arbeit macht frei” sign that hung over Auschwitz had been stolen last Friday sent shockwaves around the world. Now, Polish police say they have recovered the sign and apprehended the thieves:

KRAKOW, Poland – Polish police said Monday they had recovered the Nazi German “Arbeit macht frei” sign stolen from the former Auschwitz death camp, but said five arrested suspects had no neo-Nazi links.

Andrzej Rokita, commander in the southern Polish city of Krakow, told reporters that “from the information we have none of the five belong to a neo-Nazi group nor hold such ideas”.

The five suspects, aged 20 to 39 and with previous criminal records for theft or violence, faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted, police said.

The thieves themsevels seem to have been hired guns, in it for the money. It remains to be seen whether they were hired by someone with more sinister motives. In any case, the whole episode was extremely bizarre.

But for those asking what kind of scum of the earth would do such a thing, I’d have to say that question should more appropriately be asked of those who perpetrated the crime of Auschwitz in the first place.

Update 01/04: The theft was apparently ordered by a British neo-Nazi, in yet another example of hate being stronger than cash.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Susan Patrick 12.21.09, 1:58 PM

    I wouldn't be surprised if the thieves were simple scrap metal scavengers. Some of them have stolen church bells, commemorative plaques, and even bronze statues. Respect for historical sites is at an all-time low.

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