Big letters have been placed on the overpass at the Packard Automotive Plant in Detroit that read in German “Work will make you Free,” concerning some metro Detroiters, given the resemblance to an infamous sign at the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. It’s unclear who put up the letters.
In capital red letters on a white background, the new sign at the decaying site on Detroit’s east side reads: “Arbeit Macht Frei,” the exact same words at the entrance to the concentration camps in Poland where Jews were forced to work and were murdered. The sign, which was used at other Nazi camps, became well known as an international symbol of cruelty.
“I found it disturbing,” said David Schulman, 53, a Huntington Woods resident who came across the Detroit sign while driving home last week from Belle Isle. His grandmother had family members killed in the Holocaust.
“It’s a form of hate speech,” Schulman said. “It really appalled me.”
An attorney who represents the owner of the plant said he wasn’t aware of the sign until contacted by the Free Press, but now intends to remove it or cover it up.
“This is a disgusting act,” said Troy attorney John Bologna, who represents the plant’s owner Dominic Cristini. Cristini is in a legal dispute with the city over the plant’s ownership.
The sign consists of separate white rectangular pieces for each letter. The style of the lettering in the Detroit sign has specific similarities to the Nazi sign at Auschwitz that made it unique: for example, the upper half of the letter “B” in “Arbeit” (“Work”) is bigger than the lower half, just like it is in Auschwitz.
The letters appear to have been hung there sometime this year, said Schulman. He didn’t notice them when driving about a month ago by the overpass, which sits across East Grand Boulevard near Concord Street.
The plant has become a symbol of Detroit’s industrial decline. Designed by the noted architect Albert Kahn, the Packard Plant used to be an auto manufacturing facility where thousands worked and was a symbol of the strength of blue-collar labor in America’s Midwest.
A Jewish cemetery has been desecrated by vandals in Germany.
Six tombstones were targeted by the vandals, who sprayed graffiti including the Nazi slogan “Sieg Heil” and the phrase “S**t Jews” on them.
Police are now conducting an investigation into the attack on the graveyard in the northeastern city of Rostock and have said they have a good idea of who was behind it.
“We are tracking one suspect in particular,” a police spokesman said. “There was probably a group with him but I cannot say for sure.” It comes after a violent antisemitic attack on a rabbi in Berlin. Daniel Alter, who was with his six-year-old daughter at the time, was struck several times in the face and was left with a fractured jawbone.
Germany’s Jewish community has risen to around 200,000 following the influx of Jews from the Former Soviet Union.
People have been making graffiti since there was writing — everywhere we go we find messages lost in time. Some of these ancient writings give us priceless insight into lost civilizations. Other pieces, though, just give us big lumps of awesome.
Here are 10 pieces of ancient graffiti that show that people really haven’t gotten any sillier in the last couple thousand years.
10. “Sydromachos has an ass as big as a cistern.”
Someone in Athens wrote this 1,500 years ago. […]
Other nine at the link. Pretty entertaining!
Not that noho, a couple of days ago:
Previously in Graffiti: