Authorities Think They've Found Infamous Nazi Gate

It was stolen from the Dachau memorial in Germany in 2014
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2016 1:34 PM CST
Gate Stolen From Concentration Camp Likely Found in Norway
In this undated photo provided by the Bergen Police, the iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau is photographed in Bergen, Norway.   (Bergen Police via AP)

(Newser) – Two years ago when someone stole an infamous iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, Angela Merkel called the theft "appalling" and the director of the Dachau memorial said it was a "deliberate, reprehensible attempt to deny and obliterate the memory of the crimes." On Friday, police announced the gate bearing the Nazi propaganda slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei"—"Work Sets You Free"—has likely been found in Bergen, Norway, following an anonymous tip, the BBC reports. According to CNN, police haven't given any information about the tipper or where specifically the gate was found. No arrests have been made, Reuters reports. Police say the gate, which appears to be in OK condition, will be returned to Germany "as soon as practical."

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The Nazis opened the Dachau camp in 1933, and by the time it was liberated by US soldiers in 1945, more than 41,000 people—most of them Jews—had been killed there, the Guardian reports. The 220-pound iron gate was made by inmates at the camp, and its slogan was an attempt by the Nazis to pass off the concentration camp as a "work and re-education camp." The Dachau camp is currently a memorial, and German authorities installed a replica gate there last year. A $10,000 reward had been offered for the return of the original gate. A sign with the same "Arbeit Macht Frei" phrase on it was stolen from Auschwitz in 2009 by a Swedish neo-Nazi, who spent more than two years in jail. (A Holocaust-themed skating number didn't go over well.)

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