Stolen Gate Returned to Dachau Museum

Notorious ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ Sign Returned After Appalling Theft

A STOLEN Iron Gate bearing the infamous ‘Arbiet Macht Frei’ (Work Will Set You Free) slogan has been returned to the site of the former death camp at Dachau two years after being taken.

Although no arrests have (at time of writing) been made, a tip-off led police to a site near Bergen, Norway, where the gate was recovered.

The concentration camp at Dachau, near Munich, was the first such place established by the Nazis. Originally constructed to house political prisoners in 1933, by the time American troops liberated the much-expanded camp on 29 April 1945, at least 31,951 inmates had died there - possibly as many as 45,000.

Although first established to house up to 5,000 political prisoners, following the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 the site expanded to hold any who the Nazi administration deemed a threat. At least 24,000 prisoners were sent to the camp following the annexations of Austria and the Sudetenland, and the invasion of Poland. As many as 206,200 became inmates between establishment and liberation.

A ceremony was held to mark the return of the gate to the site. It had been stolen in November 2014, sparking outrage across the world and leading to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel labelling the crime as ‘appalling’.

Now it has been returned, the gate will be placed in the museum now occupying part of the Dachau site. The museum and memorial attract around 800,000 visitors annually.


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A memorial plaque dedicated to four policemen killed during Second World War air raids is to be unveiled at Bethel Street Police Station. Norwich. Historians are appealing to relatives to come forward, so they can be part of commemorations. The four officers were Arthur Pennymore, Arthur Wilby, George Smith and Sam Bussey. Relatives are urged to contact PC Steve Smith on 101 or email

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