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Bets On Who Stole the “Arbeit Macht Frei” Sign from Auschwitz Begin Now

The famous (infamous?) "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign that hung at the entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp was stolen early this morning. Avner Shalev, the chairman of Yad Vashem, said "The theft of such a symbolic object is an attack … Read More

By / December 18, 2009

The famous (infamous?) "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign that hung at the entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp was stolen early this morning. Avner Shalev, the chairman of Yad Vashem, said "The theft of such a symbolic object is an attack on the memory of the Holocaust, and an escalation from those elements that would like to return us to darker days."

Polish police are currently investigating the crime. In the meantime, though, let’s look at some of the likely suspects and take a gander at who might be responsible for the theft.

  • Neo-Nazis. They seem like even money, since they love denying the Holocaust, glorifying Hitler, and stealing from or defacing Jewish monuments.
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The dude thinks the Holocaust never happened. Maybe stealing the sign is the first step in an nefarious secret plot to steal all of Auschwitz one piece at a time and then claim the place never existed to begin with. 
  • Literalists. Perhaps, if work makes you free, someone thought that the sign needed to be freed?
  • Drunk Polish teenagers. Somebody makes a dare, somebody feels like they have to do something "big" to fit in with the cool kids at school, and the next thing you know you wake up with Jedidiah Springfield’s head in your bed.
  • Abe Foxman. Has it been a slow week in antisemitism? Maybe this was a gambit to give him media time to remind everybody that some people hate Jews.
  • Movie buffs. Perhaps someone saw Inglorious Basterds (or one of the endless commercials for its DVD release) and figured that if they couldn’t bring home a Nazi’s scalp, stealing this sign was the next best thing?
  • Zombie Hitler. He’s undead, and he wants his stuff back. Quick, someone get me a Hollywood screenwriter on retainer.
  • People who hate Nazis: While some might interpret stealing something from Auschwitz to be offensive to all the people who died there, others might depict it as giving a hearty "screw you" to the ones who built the place and killed people there.

 

Update (12/20): It looks like the correct answer was "D."

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