Stolen Gate with the Inscription “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work sets you free”) from Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site Now Found in Norway

entrance to the camp "Arbeit macht frei"
Fecha de imagen de la entrada al campo de prisioneros

The historic gate stolen from Dachau Concentration Camp by unknown persons during the night of November 1 to 2, 2014 has now been recovered by police in Bergen, Norway. The theft two years ago was the first and most serious raid on the historic set of buildings in the history of the memorial site. The act of desecration had targeted the camp gate located in the entrance building, or “Jourhaus”: a key symbol of the great suffering the camp prisoners were forced to endure.

The President of the Comité International de Dachau, General Jean-Michel Thomas, took note of this news with great satisfaction, stating, “Even though we still do not know what was behind this outrage, I offer thanks in the name of the survivors’ association for the discovery of this crime and the international concern that was shown following its perpetration.”

Dr. Gabriele Hammermann, Director of Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, was also very relieved and offered thanks to the police in Norway and Germany for their meticulous investigations. “Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, along with the survivors and their relatives, is delighted that the background to this act is now being cleared up and that this particularly symbolic relict of the concentration camp will once again be returned to the memorial following a judicial review. Of course, it will be presented to the public again once the restoration work is completed. A decision will be made together with the Stiftung Bayerische Gedenkstätten (Bavarian Memorial Foundation) regarding the placement of the gate, whether at its former location or as part of the permanent exhibition.”

The Director of the Bavarian Memorial Foundation, Karl Freller, was overjoyed at this news, and responded by saying, “It is a great relief to me that this piece of original evidence of the Nazis’ cynicism and contempt for humankind has been recovered. I congratulate the security authorities on their transnational success.“

 

Introducción

entrance to the camp "Arbeit macht frei"
Fecha de imagen de la entrada al campo de prisioneros

El 22 de marzo de 1933, unas semanas después de que Adolf Hitler fuese nombrado canciller del Reich, se fundó en Dachau un campo de concentración para prisioneros políticos. Este campo sirvió de modelo para los posteriores campos de concentración y más tarde sirvió como "escuela de violencia" para los miembros de la SS que estaban lo controlaban. Durante los doce años de su existencia, más de 200.000 personas procedentes de toda Europa fueron encarceladas aquí y en sus numerosos subcampos. En total, fueron asesinados 41.500 prisioneros. El 29 de abril de 1945 las tropas estadounidenses liberaron a los sobrevivientes.

 

Imagen de la entrada al campo de prisioneros

El Monumento Conmemorativo del Campo de Concentración de Dachau fue fundado en 1965 en el terreno del antiguo campo de concentración por iniciativa de sus sobrevivientes, quienes conformaron el Comité Internacional de Dachau. El gobierno del Estado de Baviera proporcionó apoyo financiero. Entre 1996 y 2003 fue elaborada una nueva exposición acerca la historia del campo de concentración de Dachau que se basa en la "ruta de los prisioneros".