2012. június 26., kedd

Arbeit macht frei

It's also a direct swapped (FB) postcard, from Anna, Poland.
(Received in May, 2012)

"Arbeit macht frei" is a German phrase, literally "labour makes (you) free," meaning "work sets you free", "labour/work liberates" or "labor brings (you) freedom".The slogan is known for having been placed over the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, including most infamously Auschwitz I, where it was made by prisoners with metalwork skills and erected by order of the Nazis in June 1940. The expression comes from the title of a novel by German philologist Lorenz Diefenbach, Arbeit macht frei: Erzählung von Lorenz Diefenbach (1873), in which gamblers and fraudsters find the path to virtue through labour. The phrase was also used in French ("le travail rend libre!") by Auguste Forel, a Swiss ant scientist, neuroanatomist and psychiatrist, in his "Fourmis de la Suisse" ["Ants of Switzerland"] (1920). In 1922, the Deutsche Schulverein of Vienna, an ethnic nationalist "protective" organization of Germans within the Austrian empire, printed membership stamps with the phrase Arbeit macht frei. It was adopted in 1928 by the Weimar government as a slogan extolling the effects of their desired policy of large-scale public works programmes to end unemployment. This use of the phrase was continued by the Nazi Party when it came to power in 1933.

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