Polish police want to talk to two men in Sweden who allegedly were involved in last month’s pilfering of the wrought-iron “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign that graced the entrance to Auschwitz; one of the two is the apparent mastermind. (The sign was recovered, though it had been cut into three pieces.) The artifact was reportedly meant for an unnamed British Nazi sympathizer. Meanwhile, the replica sign that was quickly put in place will likely remain indefinitely, out of security concerns, though the real McCoy will return to the Auschwitz museum after undergoing tests. The museum, for its part, attracted a record 1.3 million visitors in 2009.
Relatedly, this letter to the editors of the New York Times appeared today:
The lack of security protecting Auschwitz is unlikely to be “perplexing” to anyone who has visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. Visitors are far more likely to be perplexed if not appalled by the utter disrepair of the Birkenau site and the snack bar selling hot dogs and ice cream at Auschwitz.