Poland tightens border in hunt for Auschwitz sign

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  • I sh*t you not!!


    http://www.google.com/hostedne…A9lKGG59sF78nWGAD9CMENAG0


    Quote

    OSWIECIM, Poland — Polish authorities stepped up security checks at airports and border crossings and searched scrap metal yards Saturday as the search intensified for the infamous Nazi sign stolen from the Auschwitz death camp memorial.



    The brazen overnight theft Friday of one of the Holocaust's most chilling and notorious symbols sparked outrage from around the world, and Polish leaders have declared recovering the 5-meter (16-foot) sign a national priority.

    "Going to Starbucks for coffee is like going to prison for sex. You know you're going to get it, but it's going to be rough."

  • Wow... i think that's sad. I walked under that sign 2 years ago and it's a memorable moment of my visit to Auschwitz. Why can't people just leave things alone?

  • I heard on the radio last night that some kids may have stolen it for the same reason kids steal workman's signs and the like in this country ie, to stick on their bedroom walls. I guess you'll need a bloody big bedroom for that though, sick bastards whoever had it..:(

  • good, i guess that is fixable.:xgrin:

    even tho it dosnt make any sense to me at all. what is that supposed to mean..."work makes you free/ gives you freedom"????
    is it not completeley the opposite?

  • true, but why put something there at all?
    as i understand the trains with the prisoners, went straight into the camps, so they didnt see this first deception anyway, so who did they (the nazies) think they owed an explanation to? and why? even more so, as most germans "apparentley" claimed, they didnt know them camps existed.
    it allmost seems like its to make them (the nazies) feel better about what they where doing there...

  • I think it was propaganda... and that worked from all sides - oppressing the people who will become oppressors in turn, as well as on the obvious victims. Re-affirming the path the Nazis were already on ("it's all right though - we're just giving these people the opportunity to earn their place in society") and making it easy to do unspeakable things.


    There are a few people on this forum who really know their history, so they'll be able to tell you better than I can because I'm just speculating as to what seems logical in my head... but when it was being built, I doubt all the people involved in building it were thinking "yay, we're building a massive torture and extermination camp, and I'm OK with that".

  • There are two camps called Auschwitz; the sign was taken from the first camp which was mostly an enforced labour camp and not an extermination camp. The Jews who died in Auschwitz 1 were usually worked to death, sometimes executed using "traditional" methods or shipped off to Auschwitz 2 (Birkenau) which is where the gas chambers were.


    Auschwitz One started life as a Polish army base and was later built upon by the Nazis, who also cleared out a lot of the Polish locals from the area, and as far as I know there isn't a similar sign at Birkenau which was a purpose built extermination camp.


    You have to realise that anti-Semitism was rife in Europe, and many many people were indifferent to the concentration camp process and didn't even question where the Jews were going or what went on behind those gates.

  • .

    You have to realise that anti-Semitism was rife in Europe, and many many people were indifferent to the concentration camp process and didn't even question where the Jews were going or what went on behind those gates.


    thanks for that PTM and Paul. that makes sense i guess.
    thats the part i find differcult. that people apparentley didnt know and didnt question the whereabouts of their "neighbours".
    this how far would you go, to find out, and save your own skin.
    i mean surviving a war is differcult enough as it is, even as a civilian. i find it harsh, that people still blame the german civillians for not revolting.

  • The Jews who died in Auschwitz 1 were usually worked to death, sometimes executed using "traditional" methods or shipped off to Auschwitz 2 (Birkenau) which is where the gas chambers were.


    There was/is one gas chamber in Auschwitz 1, at least, from what i saw. So they used that method of killing there too although not to the same extent.


    The sign was just to give false hope. There was work to be done and bribery would get it done.

  • There was/is one gas chamber in Auschwitz 1, at least, from what i saw. So they used that method of killing there too although not to the same extent.

    You're right of course, it was almost 2 years ago that I went there so I'd almost forgotten about that one. It's on the left as you go in, and (if I can remember properly) was made from a converted building sometime after the camp had opened. It wasn't the prime objective of the place like Birkenau was.

  • I remember reading somewhere [dont know if it was on here] that in Auschwitz they still have a height chart in one of the rooms and behind the chart as you stand back against it is a hole where they used to shoot people in the back of the head as they were being measured and there is still a strong smell of disinfectant still present after all these years. Truly horrific....

  • i find it harsh, that people still blame the german civillians for not revolting.


    They was a resistance movement in Germany before and during the war. Willy Brant, former post war Chancellor of Germany, was imprisoned by the SS for being a resistance member. Some Germans colluded to hide and/or smuggle Jews to safety. It did happen but they were in a tiny minority.


    I worked in Germany on the 1970's and again in the 1990's and there were two distinct views of the death camps and the Jews; the mainly younger Germans who felt a national guilt for the extermination camps and the older people, who probably fought in the war, who seemed to think the Jews had it coming and they were only doing what the rest of the world were thinking. I met a few ex-SS and some were repentent and some weren't. I was born post war, had family over there and found it hard to understand how those poeple did what they did. As time passes new generations will find it harder to understand why some of us still get uptight about the lack of Holocaust education. It happend there, it could happen anywhere. The Brits invented concentration camps in the Boer War!


    As for "... I didn't know about the extemination camps, I was only obeying orders ..." school of thought I guess the Russians had the right idea. Take 50,000 Germany officers, put them up against a wall and shoot them as an example to the world. Churchill intervened and stopped them but I can see their point - 27m Russian dead at Nazi hands. I went to Auschwitz 2 (Birkenau) in 1997 and it gave me a fit of the shudders. Which is, I think, the point of preserving it.


    A lot of my family 'vanished' during the war and their neighbours probably didn't notice because they knew what was going on and were happy to see them go. Ironically, some other (German) relatives were prisoners of war captured by the Russians, were sent to the Gulags (Soviet versions of the forced labour camps) where the survivors remained until 1955. The death rate in the Gulags was extremely high and only about 5000 survived out of 2.5m German PoWs. You might want to check that figure ... is cold and my brain's slow.


    As for the sign, Work Makes You Free, that just about goes to show how cynical the Nazis were. Six million people were killed at Auschwitz and no one lifted a finger to help them. So it goes.

  • As for "... I didn't know about the extemination camps, I was only obeying orders ..." school of thought I guess the Russians had the right idea. Take 50,000 Germany officers, put them up against a wall and shoot them as an example to the world. Churchill intervened and stopped them but I can see their point - 27m Russian dead at Nazi hands. I went to Auschwitz 2 (Birkenau) in 1997 and it gave me a fit of the shudders. Which is, I think, the point of preserving it.


    the first sentence dosnt make sense. anyone to do with the "final solution" must have known what was going on.
    for the second part i think all nations involved in ww2, abused human rights. they wouldnt get away with things like that today.
    i havent been to any one of the camps, cs the vibe there would absoluteley crush me.
    but not guilt, but sadness.

  • the first sentence dosnt make sense. anyone to do with the "final solution" must have known what was going on.


    Do you mean I don't make sense or the concept doesn't make sense?


    "I didn't know what was happening in the camps, I was only obeying orders," was an oft heard refrain by Nazi defendents at war crimes trials after 1945. The 'only obeying order' defence rarely worked because basic human compassion over-rides 'orders.' But since none of us were there, 64-years ago, we have no real understanding of the prevailing mood of the time. History is always written by the victors.


    The shooting of 50,000 German captured officers refers to a statement Stalin was alleged to have made at the Potdam Conference when the Allies were trying to figure out how to manage the peace. Stalin wanted retribution for the wrongs the Nazis had wrought on his country while Britain, France and the US wanted to clean up the mess. Get on with business. Churchill's point about stopping the Russians from arbitarily dragging 50,000 German officers in front of a firing squad - for being German officers who didn't stop a lost war - was that the Allies would be committing a war crime on about par with Hilter. We were supposed to be the 'good guys.' Goodish. Although what Russians soldiers got up to during the Battle of Berlin, random mass rape, hardly makes for good PR. But we have no real understanding of the prevailing mood of the time. I suggest reading "Berlin" by Anthony Bevoir to get a handle on that one.


    Fortunately the people wot dun the evil deeds in the camps are a rapidly dying breed, as are the survivors, so hopefully - as a young German said to me in Berlin, cicra 1975 - the blood from their nations hands will be wiped clean and they can go forth into the world without a stain of their country's character. And a about flipping time an' all.


    Stealing the Auschwitz sign had the unhappy result of dragging all that bad karma up again. Myself included.