Poland Hunts for Auschwitz Sign, Tightens Border
Officials declare its recovery a national priority
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 19, 2009 12:32 PM CST
A breached barbed wire fence is seen at the former Nazi death camp.   ((AP Photo))
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(Newser) – Polish authorities stepped up security checks at airports and border crossings and searched scrap metal yards today as the search intensified for the infamous Nazi sign stolen from the Auschwitz death camp memorial. The brazen overnight theft yeterday of one of the Holocaust's most chilling and notorious symbols sparked outrage from around the world, and Polish leaders have declared recovering the 16-foot sign a national priority.

Police deployed 50 officers, including 20 detectives, and a search dog to the Auschwitz grounds, where barracks, watchtowers, and rows of barbed wire stand as testament to the atrocities of Nazi Germany. The sign, which reads "work makes your free," is made of hollow steel pipes and weighs maybe 90 pounds. "Clearly this was well planned. It's a blow to our human heritage," said a memorial spokesman.