“Arbeit Macht Frei” sign stolen from Auschwitz

Small Fortress in Terezin, Czech Republic
Nazi concentration camps featured a hopeful sign for the incoming prisoners. “Arbeit Macht Frei” means Work Sets You Free and helped keep up the guise of these “work camps”.

Someone just stole the sign from Auschwitz.

I took this photo of the Small Fortress in Terezin, Czech Republic. It’s hard to understand how horrible these camps were until you’ve actually visited one.
Terezin bunkbeds in the Small Fortress
At one point the guide showed us one of the prisoner cells where people were so cramped they had to sleep side by side on wooden bunk beds. She then took us to the cell for Jewish prisoners. It was 1/4 the size, had no furniture, and the only source of light/air was a tiny window (4 inches by 4 inches) about 6 feet up in the air.

Here’s some information about Terezin from wikipedia

The Small Fortress in Terezin was also used as a punishment prison for Allied POWs who persisted in escape attempts. POWs from Australia, New Zealand, England and Scotland were imprisoned and witnessed the horrendous inhuman mistreatment of the largely Jewish population. Keeping POWs in such a camp was against the Geneva Convention, and the camp was under the direct control of the Gestapo who refused to acknowledge the POWs’ special status. They saw that elderly Jewish inmates were given food every second day and forced to do hard labour constructing a 1 km long tank trap,mainly using their hands. Prisoners who stopped jogging, with handfuls of dirt, were beaten unmercifully. Prisoners were forced to sit on the head and legs of a victim while the guard repeatedly struck the victim with a nailed post, reducing their buttocks to pulp. Jews were also whipped with strips of thin wire that tore their bodies apart. Prisoners were forced to collect the bloody parts and load them on a cart.

Block A in Terezin

I wish work could have set these people free. Unfortunately life wasn’t that easy for the people tortured in the death camps.

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