Didn’t this happen already, or was it just a dream?

This is nothing like what a person may want to dream about, but I had dreamt last week about the nefarious “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) sign on the gate to the Auschwitz death camp, specifically that it was stolen. The next week, it was stolen. Its robbers (thieves?) have been apprehended and the three pieces of the sign were found in a forest. The men who took it weren’t neo-Nazis or right-wingers, apparently, but just dumb clucks who thought they’d be cool by taking the sign.

Here’s something I didn’t know. According to The Guardian,

The Arbeit Macht Frei sign was erected by prisoners with metalwork skills on Nazi orders in June 1940, and was a cynical take on the title of an 1873 work by the lexicographer, linguist and novelist Lorenz Diefenbach [link added — JH] in which gamblers and fraudsters discover the path to virtue through hard work.

Bah. Typical of the Nazis. Grafting their toxic thought onto legitimate culture and social order.

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.