Europe

Stolen Nazi gate returned to Dachau

Transport company staff carry the "Arbeit macht frei" gate at the site of the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau on 22 February, 2017. Image copyright Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP
Image caption The iron gate from Dachau concentration camp will now sit in the site's museum

An iron gate bearing the infamous slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been returned to Dachau, the former Nazi concentration camp, after it was stolen two years ago.

The gate, which weighs 100kg (15 stone) was reported missing in November 2014.

The theft sparked outrage across the world, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling the crime "appalling".

An anonymous tip-off led to its recovery near Bergen in Norway in December last year.

No arrests have been made over the theft so far.

Dachau, near Munich, was the first concentration camp set up by the Nazis in 1933. More than 40,000 people died there before its liberation by US troops in 1945.

A ceremony was held on Wednesday to mark the gate's return to the site.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption No arrests have ever been made over the theft of the gate

The president of the International Dachau Committee, Jean-Michel Thomas, called for further investigations into the theft, which he described as "deeply shocking".

The perpetrators had tried to "remove a trace, a symbol of all that is represented by the inscription 'Arbeit Macht Frei' on this gate of Dachau camp that some 210,000 detainees walked through from 1933 to 1945", he said.

The gate was stolen on a Saturday night between the rounds of security guards watching the site.

At the time, police raised fears that the thieves could be neo-Nazis.

The gate will now be placed in the museum at Dachau.

The memorial attracts about 800,000 visitors a year. US Vice President Mike Pence visited earlier in February, accompanied by his wife and daughter.

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