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18th Oct 2019

Department of Social Protection office in Cork vandalised with Nazi slogan

Carl Kinsella

Nazi sign Cork

“We very much regret that this happened.”

A sticker bearing the phrase ‘Jobpath Macht Frei’ was placed outside a Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection office in Cork this week.

On Facebook, the Irish Polish Society page noted that two members of the Polish community pointed the sign out to the manager of the Intreo Centre and it was “gone within 20 minutes”.

The phrase is a reference to Arbeit Macht Frei, meaning ‘work makes you free’ in German — a phrase which infamously hung over the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp where it is estimated that over a million people died.

In a statement on Twitter, the department wrote: “Dept Employment Affairs & Social Protection confirms that an extremely offensive sign was placed on outside of Hanover Street office, in Cork by unknown persons yesterday.

“It was removed immediately. We very much regret that this happened. We have reported it to Gardaí.”

The official Twitter account of Auschwitz Memorial, the body that oversees the preservation of the site of the defunct concentration camp, wrote: “‘Arbeit macht frei’ was a false, cynical illusion the SS gave to prisoners of the Auschwitz camp. Those words became one of the icons of human hatred hate.”

JOE has contacted the Gardaí for comment.

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