Simon Wiesenthal Center To Ebay: Cancel Online Auction Of 'Arbeit Macht Frei' Sign

December 23, 2009

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER TO EBAY: CANCEL ONLINE AUCTION OF 'ARBEIT MACHT FREI' SIGN

The sign is being promoted as “similar to the one in Auschwitz

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging eBay to cancel the auction of an "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign, touted as "similar to the one in Auschwitz" being offered for sale by a Pennsylvania man using the name "SS panzergrenadier.” 

The description on eBay reads:

"For sale is a sign in German meaning "Work for freedom" that dates back to the 1700's and was used in many Nazi concentration camps. It was designed specifically from the sign over the main gate at Auschwitz. It measures about 7 feet long and is made from 1/4 round bar steel with 1/8 x 3/4 steel lettering...Note: Gate is not included.”

"The denigration of the victims of Nazi Holocaust continues unabated --from Iran's Holocaust-denying president, to thieves who stole the actual sign from the Auschwitz death camp", said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in a statement from Jerusalem. “People of goodwill the world over expressed their shock and indignation after the real sign was stolen-including the son of an ex-American GI who fought the Nazis, who contacted the Wiesenthal Center to volunteer to make a new sign for the Auschwitz Museum.”

 " eBay, one of the world's most powerful marketing tools has a moral obligation to remove this callous ‘auction’ item by someone using the call letters of the (Nazi) SS seeking to cash in on last week¹s criminal act at Auschwitz,” Cooper concluded. 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For more information, call Rabbi Cooper at 1310-210-9750 or in Israel 0524-316-448. Join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.