Arbeit macht frei [ạrbait macht frei; German: “work makes (you) free”] – a slogan used by the Nazis as a sign at the gates of the camps of Dachau, Auschwitz and other concentration camps. It was supposed to make that Nazi camps look like sites of useful reeducation of asocial elements and criminals through labour, but in fact, it was one of the cryptonyms of genocide. In the circles of the SS and the German occupation administration the expression Vernichtung durch Arbeit [“extermination through labor”] was used, which defined more precisely the functions of the Nazi camps.
The content of this entry has been prepared on the basis of the source materials provided by the Polish Scientific Publishers (PWN)
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