OSLO – An iron gate from Dachau concentration camp in Germany with the notorious “Arbeit macht frei” (work sets you free) slogan has been found in western Norway two years after it was stolen, police said on Friday.
“The gate is in okay condition and will be returned to German authorities as soon as practical,” police in the western city of Bergen wrote in a statement.
Police got an anonymous tip that led to the find and a source said no arrests had been made. They issued two pictures of the gate propped up in a store room, apparently intact and mostly black with some flaking paint.
German authorities made a replica of the gate, 6.14 ft high and weighing 238 lbs, that they installed at Dachau last year to mark the 70th anniversary of the camp’s liberation by U.S. troops on May 3, 1945.
The Nazis set up the camp in Dachau outside Munich only weeks after Adolf Hitler took power. Initially designed to detain political rivals, it became the prototype for a network of concentration camps where 6 million Jews were murdered.
More than 41,000 died at Dachau and more than 200,000 people had been detained in the camp by the time it was liberated at the end of World War Two.
Television footage showing piles of bodies and starved inmates of the camp were among the first images the world saw of the Holocaust.
In December 2009, a similar “Arbeit macht frei” sign was stolen from the entry gate of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz in Poland by a Swedish man with far-right ties.