A metal gate bearing the Nazis concentration camp slogan, “Arbeit Macht Frei,” Work Sets You Free, was stolen this weekend from the memorial site at the old Nazi camp of Dachau, outside of Munich.
It was discovered early Sunday morning by Dachau security. Official records suggest the theft occurred between midnight and 5:30 am. Police suspect that at least two adults were involves, and estimated the piece weighed around 225 pounds. Gabriele Hammermann, who has headed Dachau since 2009 said, “It was a terrible shock. This is the most important symbol of the concentration camp.” Dachau was the first camp opened by the Nazis after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, and was originally used to incarcerate political opponents. The site imprisoned about 200,000 people over 12 years and an estimated 41,500 people died there.