Seeing “Arbeit Macht Frei” for the First Time

On a Metafilter thread, a few were wondering what prisoners thought as they arrived at the concentration camp to see the sign:

Benjamin Jacobs, a Jewish dental student from Poland, spent five years in Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. “As we were driven further, we heard an orchestra playing and people singing. ‘Today Poland. Tomorrow the entire world,’ they sang in German. … Above the gate another sign read ‘Auschwitz’, and below it, ‘Arbeit Macht Frei.’ We knew it wasn’t meant to be a promise, not even a pledge. The truth was that we were here to work until we died. In front of a small shack a conductor directed 30 musicians. The scene was grotesque.”

via “Arbeit Macht Frei” Sign Stolen