Breaking News…Auschwitz 16 ft. Sign Stolen!

In Poland at the infamous concentration camp Auschwitz, which has since become a museum and way of remembering the deceased, perpetrators stole the 16 foot sign from the main gate.  The sign, which says “Work sets you free,” is made of iron and was taken on Dec. 18.  Check out this New York Times story.

Across Poland, according to AFP, border patrols have been increased and road blocks continue to be used to locate the thieves.  Meanwhile, Polish authorities are combing the former concentration camp for further evidence.

Over 1 million, mainly Jewish “residents” of Auschwitz were killed, or I would more accurately say murdered.  Why would someone steal the sign?  How many people does it take to remove and walk away with a 16 foot, iron sign?

Since the disappearance of the sign, authorities have replaced it with a replica.


  1. That’s so bizarre. Well, whoever did it certainly will get their 15 minutes of fame.


  2. I saw this on a news blog yesterday and I couldn’t believe it. Who would do such a thing? I also wonder how it could have gone unnoticed for while Oświęcim isn’t a huge town the main camp where the sign is located is near a populated area. My cousin spent three years in Auschwitz I as a political prisoner…it saddens my heart that someone would disrespect the memorial like this.

  3. I have no idea who would do it, but apparently they did it at night just before dawn sometime. I cannot imagine what they would do with the sign. Is this a bunch of teens playing pranks or something more sinister? I can’t believe people would have nothing better to do than steal a sign of such an infamous place. UGH

  4. I can’t see it as a teen prank….the Poles hate going to Auschwitz. When I went there my family refused to go anywhere near camp & tried to talk me out of going. Saying that it was a sad & dark place. But it was just something i needed to see with my own eyes.

    Its baffling though…the sign is HUGE…not an easy thing to move about. I hope they find it soon and the ones who did tossed in jail. There are some things you don’t do and disturbing a grave site is one of them

  5. Strange that such a large thing could be stolen. I just assumed the landmark was much more heavily guarded.

  6. Teens do act stupidly sometimes and many teens (at least in America) have defaced grave sites and cemeteries, so I wouldn’t completely rule them out. However, I agree, that sign is enormous…how did they move it?! I hope they are caught soon and receive all the jail time possible. Ridiculous.

    I also would have assumed that it would have been more heavily guarded.

  7. the camp is located in a small town, its not heavily populated. there also isn’t much to steal there. the bulk of the memorial is in the former barracks – with everything behind glass. there weren’t even any security guards that i saw. the polish hate Auschwitz but they all understand its significance in remember things past. they feel that it is an important reminder to all that humans are capable of horrible acts and we must remember those dark times so that they can be prevented in the future.

    If this was America then i wouldn’t rule out teens, but teens in Poland especially in this area of Poland are different. most grew up knowing that relatives suffered in the camps and under the Nazi regime. then after the Nazi’s came the Russians. i have a lot of family in Krakow (about an hour north of Oświęcim)….most Polish when you mention the camps they shudder visibly and will change subject. So I can’t see this as the work of someone who is from that area. Maybe I’m wrong but it just goes against all I know of the Polish from my trips over there.

  8. Thanks for sharing your “inside” knowledge of the area and the culture. Now I really do wonder who it could be. And what would they want with the sign?

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