Warsaw (Poland), Dec. 21 (ANI): The infamous sign over the gates at Auschwitz, which reads "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free) has been found in damaged condition.
Polish police found the sign that was stolen from the gate of the former Nazi death camp after an intensive three-day hunt.
Five suspects have been arrested. The sign was found cut into three pieces Sunday night in northern Poland, the other end of the country from the southern Polish town where the Auschwitz memorial museum is located and where it disappeared before dawn Friday.
Police said that detained five men are aged between 25 and 39 and have been taken for questioning to Krakow, which is the regional command of the area that includes the Auschwitz museum.
Police spokesman, Dariusz Nowak, was quoted by a foreign news agency as saying that the 16-foot (5-meter) sign, made of hollow steel, was found cut into three pieces, each containing one of the words.
The cruelly ironic phrase means "Work Sets You Free" and ran completely counter to the purpose of Auschwitz, which began as a concentration camp for political prisoners during the Nazi occupation of Poland and evolved into an extermination camp where Jews were gassed to death in factory-like fashion.
The police refused to divulge any details of the circumstances in which the sign was found or to speculate on the motive of the perpetrators. They were expected to disclose more at a news conference in Krakow on Monday.
More than a million people, mostly Jews, but also Gypsies, Poles and others, died in the gas chambers or from starvation and disease while performing forced labour at Auschwitz, which Nazi ermany built in occupied Poland during World War II. The Soviet army liberated the camp on January 27, 1945. (ANI)