Watch CBS News

Auschwitz-Inspired Sign Removed From Packard Plant

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Placards posted at a deteriorating former Detroit car plant that spelled out words that were part of a metal gate at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland have been removed.

The Anti-Defamation League said in a statement Tuesday that the posting of "Arbeit macht frei" at the defunct Packard plant was "an intentional and malicious act" and requested its quick removal. The sign, which recently began attracting attention, was removed later that day.

The German phrase meaning "Work makes free" greeted Jews and other prisoners the Germans sent to Auschwitz during World War II. An estimated 1.1 million to 1.5 million people died there.

It's unknown who put up the letters.

The factory that built luxury Packard cars at the start of the 20th Century, closed in 1958. The city of Detroit has pledged to take the plant down, but that hasn't happened yet.

The sign was removed by a volunteer from the group "Detroit Funk."

MORE: Packard Plant Tagged With Nazi Slogan 'Arbeit Macht Frei'

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.