Stolen 'Work will set you free' gate returned to Dachau

2017-02-22 17:08
Workers hold the original iron gate with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" (Work will set you free)  at the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau. (Uwe Lein, AFP)

Workers hold the original iron gate with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" (Work will set you free) at the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau. (Uwe Lein, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dachau - An iron gate with the infamous slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free"), stolen from the former Nazi concentration camp of Dachau in Germany two years ago, was returned to the site on Wednesday.

The theft of the 100kg gate was reported in November 2014, sparking uproar, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling the crime "appalling".

It was recovered outside Bergen in southwestern Norway last December following an anonymous tip-off.

At a ceremony marking the return of the gate, the president of the International Dachau Committee, Jean-Michel Thomas, urged investigators to press on with the probe into the theft.

He said he was "deeply shocked by the desecration of the site dedicated to the memory of all the victims of the camp, and to the respect for the 41 000 detainees who died" there.

He said the theft had aimed to "remove a trace, a symbol of all that is represented by the inscription 'Arbeit Macht Frei' on this gate of Dachau camp that about 210 000 detainees walked through from 1933 to 1945", he said.

The gate was taken on a Saturday night between the rounds of security guards watching the site.

Police at the time said they were investigating whether neo-Nazis had committed the crime and offered a €10 000 reward for information that could solve the case.

No arrests have been made so far.

The Dachau camp near Munich opened in 1933, less than two months after Adolf Hitler became chancellor.

More than 200 000 political prisoners, Jews and others were incarcerated there by the Nazis and 41 000 died before US troops liberated it on April 29 1945.

Today about 800 000 visitors from around the world visit the camp each year.

Last Sunday, US Vice President Mike Pence paid a sombre visit to the camp along with his wife and daughter.

Another sign with the same inscription at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz was stolen in 2009.

The mastermind of that theft, Swedish neo-Nazi Anders Hoegstroem, was caught and jailed for two and a half years.

The metal sign was eventually recovered, cut up into three pieces. A replica was displayed above the entrance until the original was restored in 2011.

Read more on:    germany  |  holocaust  |  nazi crimes

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.