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Auschwitz Sign Stolen

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Police reported Friday that the infamous "Arbeit Macht Frei" ("Work Sets You Free") sign over the gate to the Auschwitz memorial in Poland had been stolen.

According to The New York Times,the Polish police believe the iron sign was taken between 3:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. by unscrewing it on one side and pulling it off on the other.

The sign has become synonymous with the horrors that took place at the largest Nazi extermination camp, where gay victims where among the millions who perished between 1940 and 1945.

"The sign was erected soon after Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi extermination camp, was built in May 1940, and more than a million people died during the four-and-a-half years of Auschwitz's existence," the Times reported. "The victims were mainly Jewish men, women and children but included Polish political prisoners, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma families, gay men and lesbians, people with disabilities and prisoners of conscience."

Officials had just reached an agreement about providing $90 million to maintain the deteriorating memorial and museum buildings in southern Poland near Krakow.

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