Scrapbookpages Blog

February 22, 2017

Karl Röder was forced by Nazi officials to forge the “Arbeit macht frei” slogan on the Dachau gate

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 5:41 pm
My photo of the gate into the Dachau camp

My photo of the gate into the Dachau camp

The title of this blog post comes from a line in a news article, which you can read in full at http://www.dw.com/en/stolen-arbeit-macht-frei-gate-returned-to-holocaust-memorial-in-dachau/a-37665320

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

The original wrought-iron gate carrying the infamous Nazi slogan “Arbeit macht frei” (“work sets you free”) was returned to Dachau from Norway on Wednesday.

It will be restored and publicly unveiled this April on the 72nd anniversary of the camp’s liberation. The gate will not be returned to its original location, but rather be displayed in the museum on the grounds of the former concentration camp near Munich in Bavaria that now serves as a memorial.

End quote

I have been to the former Dachau camp several times, beginning with my first visit in 1998.

The red brick road up to the Dachau gate

My photo of the red brick road up to the Dachau gatehouse

I have a section on my website about the Dachau gate: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/KZDachau/Gatehouse.html

The iron gate at the entrance through the Dachau gatehouse into the prison compound is shown in my photo at the top of this page.

The sign which reads “Arbeit Macht Frei” was removed soon after the Dachau camp was liberated, but it was reconstructed in 1965 at the same time that two barrack buildings were reconstructed for visitors. One of the reconstructed barracks can be seen on the left side of my photo at the top of this page.

The slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” was allegedly coined by Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels in an effort to convince the public that the Nazi concentration camps were merely work camps designed to politically rehabilitate Communists, Social Democrats and anarchists.

This slogan was first used over the gate of a “wild camp” in the city of Oranienburg which was set up in an abandoned brewery in March 1933 during the time that the first political prisoners were being held for an indefinite period without charges in a number of places in Germany.

In 1936, the Oranienburg camp was rebuilt as the Sachsenhausen camp. The Dachau camp was also rebuilt, starting in 1936. The gatehouse at Sachsenhausen also bears this inscription, but the third major German concentration camp, Buchenwald, has a sign on the gate that reads “Jedem das Seine,” which means To Each his Own.

Dachau and Sachsenhausen were both Class I camps for offenders, who were considered capable of being rehabilitated and who were eligible for possible release.

Rudolf Höss, who trained at Dachau and then served as an adjutant at Sachsenhausen before becoming the first Commandant at Auschwitz, used this motto over the gate into the main camp, Auschwitz I, which was classified as a Class I camp for political prisoners. Auschwitz II, also known as Birkenau, was not a Class I camp, so Birkenau did not have this slogan over the gatehouse.

Two other Nazi concentration camps which used the slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” on their gate houses were Flossenbürg and Gross-Rosen. This slogan also appeared on a gate inside the Gestapo prison in the Small Fortress at Terezin, formerly known as Theresienstadt.

6 Comments »

  1. So, is the slogan a forgery, or was the gate a forging? Either way, Röder is a forger. Not bad work for a dirty Commie.

    Comment by Jett Rucker — February 22, 2017 @ 7:53 pm

    • You wrote: “So, is the slogan a forgery, or was the gate a forging?”

      The word “forge” has two meanings:

      1.
      make or shape (a metal object) by heating it in a fire or furnace and beating or hammering it.
      synonyms: hammer out, beat into shape, fashion
      “smiths forged swords”

      create (a relationship or new conditions).
      “the two women forged a close bond”
      synonyms: build, construct, form, create, establish, set up
      “they forged a partnership”

      2.
      produce a copy or imitation of (a document, signature, banknote, or work or art) for the purpose of deception.
      synonyms: fake, falsify, counterfeit, copy, imitate, reproduce, replicate, simulate
      End quote

      My father worked for a short time as a blacksmith, forging things. He quickly gave up that career and bought one of the first trucks ever made. Later, his son [my brother] founded a company that is still in existance, hauling things nationwide in huge trailer trucks. So don’t tell me anything about forging!

      Comment by furtherglory — February 23, 2017 @ 6:39 am

  2. Don’t you just love how the Jews misconstrued everything when it comes to the Holocaust even the sign trying to make it look like the sign didn’t mean what It said. I mean really now let’s just get down to what this really is. It’s a sign that said work will make you free and people were released from these camps so for people to say it was put there as propaganda to make it look like that was the case is ridiculous when we have instances the show that people actually were released from these camps.
    Of course I wasn’t there to see this I’m just reiterating what others have written about.

    JR

    Comment by Jim Rizoli — February 22, 2017 @ 5:52 pm

    • I was there and lived in the old SS-Hospital Hs. 52B (where the massacre took place) for almost ten years until the end of 1956, and watched hundreds of GI;s during that time going through that gate ‘ARBEIT MACHT FRERI’, as the Jura House and adjacent buildings including the Bunkers were used as an US Army Stockade.
      I wonder, how they felt of being incarcerated in an revitalized concentration camp, watched by guards armed with shotguns? Other camps had different motto’s, and as a side issue as the USA now have Herr Trumpf as President, it would be appropriate to put: ‘JEDEM DAS SEINE’, another well known KZ-sign on the Liberty Statue, to welcome those arriving in life boats.
      And yes, I am cynical!

      Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — February 22, 2017 @ 8:42 pm

      • Another person who has fallen for the propaganda trick claiming that Trump banned immigration in the United States. Banning immigration for the dual-nationals from 7 countries doesn’t amount to banning immigration as a whole. What would people say if Trump let potential Jihadists into a country full of Jews? Probably that he’s an anti-Semitic bastard. Just as they say with his ban on a specific immigration. No difference in fact…

        Comment by hermie — February 23, 2017 @ 3:01 am

    • You wrote: “It’s a sign that said work will make you free and people were released from these camps so for people to say it was put there as propaganda to make it look like that was the case is ridiculous when we have instances the show that people actually were released from these camps.
      Of course I wasn’t there to see this I’m just reiterating what others have written about.”

      On this blog post, I explained the meaning of the Arbeit macht Frei sign
      https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/arbeit-macht-frei-what-does-it-stand-for/

      Comment by furtherglory — February 23, 2017 @ 5:54 am


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