Friday, December 18, 2009

Auschwitz "Arbeit Macht Frei" Sign Stolen

I can only imagine the kind of sick bastards that would steal that. But I agree with Jonathan Turley that it is unforgivable that it could be stolen. Denial much, Deutschland?

Yes, I know the camp is in Poland, but I'm insinuating that a Nazi took the sign, and I would think that Germany should have to pay to help keep the camp preserved, although I'm not sure that they do.

The job was apparently very professionally done, which would boost the theory that this was someone trying to make big money selling to the underground Nazi market.

British historian Andrew Roberts said the sign would generate huge interest on the burgeoning market for Nazi memorabilia.

I can never hear about that sign, sprawled above the entrance to Auschwitz, that means "work will set you free," without thinking of the Donald Baker poem that uses it in one of the most impressive ways it ever could be. Talk about putting something in context.

Formal Application
“The poets apparently want to rejoin the human race.”--Time
I shall begin by learning to throw
the knife, first at trees, until it sticks
in the trunk and quivers every time;

next from a chair, using only wrist
and fingers, at a thing on the ground,
a fresh ant hill or a fallen leaf;

then at a moving object, perhaps
a pieplate swinging on twine, until
I pot it at least twice in three tries.

Meanwhile, I shall be teaching the birds
that the skinny fellow in sneakers
is a source of suet and breadcrumbs,

first putting them on a shingle nailed
to a pine tree, next scattering them
on the needles, closer and closer

to my seat, until the proper bird,
a towhee, I think, in black and rust
and gray, takes tossed crumbs six feet away.

Finally, I shall coordinate
conditioned reflex and functional
form and qualify as Modern Man.

You see the splash of blood and feathers
and the blade pinning it to the tree?
It’s called an “Audubon Crucifix.”

The phrase has pleasing (even pious)
connotations, like Arbeit Macht Frei,
“Molotov Cocktail,” and Enola Gay.

(Donald W Baker)

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