Stolen Dachau concentration camp gate may have been found in Norway

According to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial, the gate was forged by inmates in one of the camp's workshops after it first opened in 1933 for political prisoners.

Story highlights

  • Police didn't release further details on where they found the gate
  • The gate has been missing since 2014

(CNN)An iron gate with the notorious Nazi slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" stolen from a German concentration camp site most likely has been recovered.

Authorities said they found a gate that matches the description of the one from the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial in Bergen, Noway, after receiving an anonymous tip.
The gate has been missing since 2014, despite a reward of $10,000.
Police didn't release further details on where exactly they found the gate or who tipped them off.
"This is all the information we have at the moment," a spokesman for Bavarian police told CNN. "International communication is not very fast, we will have to wait for more information."

A reminder of past crimes

The slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" translates as "Work sets you free." It became emblematic of the forced labor camps of World War II in which so many inmates died.
At the time of the theft, the Dachau center's director, Gabriele Hammermann, described it as a "deliberate, reprehensible attempt to deny and obliterate the memory of the crimes."
The gate is of "highly symbolic importance," he said, and its removal is "an attempt to demolish the memorial at its very core."
According to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial, the gate was forged by inmates in one of the camp's workshops after it first opened in 1933 for political prisoners.
A Communist inmate was ordered by the SS to fashion the lettering "Arbeit macht frei," which was removed after the war and replaced by a reconstruction when the memorial was established in 1965, it said.
These infamous iron gates are weigh around one hundred kilos.
The propaganda slogan "reflects Nazis' attempts to appear harmless by presenting the concentration camp as a 'work and reeducation camp,'" it said.
Tens of thousands of Jewish, Sinti and Roma prisoners were also sent to the camp, many of whom died before it was liberated by U.S. Army troops in 1945.
Soon after it was stolen, the center hired a locksmith to create a replica. He based his work on historical photos from 1936 and more recent photos from tourists.