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top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major

Posts: 3303

Gate stolen from Dachau camp found in Norway
Posted on: 12/2/2016 2:53:07 PM
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With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major

Posts: 1305

Re: Gate stolen from Dachau camp found in Norway
Posted on: 12/2/2016 6:04:54 PM
This messes with my head.

This gate was from Dachau, and was taken in 2014, IIUC. I remember reading about that, but I would have sworn that the theft was simply the "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign, and that it was removed from Auschwitz, but had been found and reinstalled a couple of years ago.

Were gates from both KZ Dachau and the gates from the Auschwitz complex both stolen at different times? I only remember hearing about one incident.

Okay, I've been doing some reading and it appears I conflated two crimes committed five years apart. I'm leaving my comment up in case other members found themselves questioning their sanity as well.

I find myself wondering how difficult it might be for Norwegian and Bavarian police to work together on the theft of such a sign. It appears from what I have read since your post that the Norwegians were pretty thoughtful and sensitive to the subtleties and nuances of the recovery of this powerful symbol, even though it is a replica created in the mid 1960s.

Still up in the air for me is what would drive anyone to steal such an artifact. I have to assume that there are organizations – most if not all of them part of the extreme right politically – who would be tempted to turn such a relic into a centre-piece of devotion. Or am I wrong in assuming that only right-wing extremists would have any interest in such a thing? Does anyone know what the two men charged and convicted of the theft from Auschwitz were sent to prison for? Was it simple theft, or something either more serious (theft from a national memorial) or even something under the anti-Nazi statutes?

Dachau was, of course, of a different order and type of KZ than the Auschwitz complex. Not just the first camp (opened 1933) but, absurd to say, a comparatively benign punishment centre, Dachau had a rather large percentage of survivors, however broken they might have been. For those who still survive, the recovery of the gates will be significant, though undoubtedly also a very painful reminder of a frightening personal catastrophe.

Brian G
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

St. Louis, MO, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 465

Re: Gate stolen from Dachau camp found in Norway
Posted on: 12/2/2016 8:11:32 PM
Auschwitz sign stolen in 2009.

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