Notorious 'Arbeit Macht Frei ' Sign Restored to Site of Auschwitz Concentration Camp

The "Arbeit macht frei" (work sets you free) sign was stolen by a gang of Polish thieves acting at the behest of a Swedish far-right-winger. Technicians unveiled the restored sign in the laboratory of the camp museum.

The notorious sign spanning Auschwitz's main gate, which was stolen and cut into pieces in a 2009 heist, has been welded back together and restored almost to its previous condition, officials said Wednesday.

Conservation workers at the site of the former Nazi death camp said they have worked for nearly a year and a half photographing, analyzing and finally welding back together the pieces of the badly damaged sign bearing the cynical Nazi slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free).

Workers at the site of the former Nazi death camp said they worked for nearly a year and a half restoring the sign bearing the Nazi’s infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Sets You Free) slogan. The leader of the restoration project, Agnieszka Zydzik-Bialek, said the sign was “in very bad shape” when it was returned to the site, having been bent, fractured and into three pieces. She said the workers had to reverse the numerous deformations caused by “twisting”, bending, scratcing as well as removing the numerous dents on the sign’s pieces. A blacksmith welded the sign back together. On Wednesday, the restored sign was shown to the public for the first time.