Polish police recover Auschwitz gate sign, damaged
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 09:03
Warsaw: The three pieces of the infamous sign proclaiming "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free) will be welded together and restored to the main gate at the former Auschwitz death camp after an improved security system is put in place to guard against another theft.

Officials at the Auschwitz memorial museum said yesterday the new system would be aimed at better protecting not just the recovered sign but many other objects testifying to Nazi crimes - from two tons of human hair to a trove of written documents to the ruins of gas chambers now sinking into the earth.

"The location of the sign is its only authentic one, above the gate of the former Auschwitz I camp," museum director Piotr Cywinski said. "The sign will return there as soon as possible, after ensuring the protection of its site against damage and burglary."

Surveillance cameras and around-the-clock foot patrols already protect the vast 200-hectare site - which includes Auschwitz I, where the sign was stolen, and nearby Birkenau. But museum spokesman Jaroslaw Mensfelt said it's now clear that isn't enough and that "the future security system will have to be better."

The added cost involved only adds to the museum's troubles, because it is already dealing with dilapidated structures demanding enormous preservation efforts if they are to continue to stand as a testament for future generations.


First Published: Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 09:03

comments powered by Disqus