(photo credit: kkl)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday expressed his shock at the weekend theft of the infamous iron sign "Arbeit Macht Frei" hung decades ago above the gate of the former Auschwitz death camp.
Speaking at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, "I call on the Polish government to track down these twisted criminals who desecrated a place where more than a million Jews were murdered.
"It is important to preserve the memory of the crime and therefore it is important to preserve the crime scene of the worst incident in the history of the Jewish people and of all humanity," he added.
Polish authorities were reported to have stepped up their efforts on Sunday to catch the thieves who stole the sign bearing the German words "Arbeit Macht Frei" - "Work makes you free" - early Friday morning.
Polish Interior Minister Jerzy Miller ordered police to increase vigilance and question all possible witnesses and suspects in a nationwide effort to find the sign that stands as one of Nazi Germany's most chilling symbols.
An exact replica of the sign, produced when the original underwent restoration work years ago, was quickly hung in its place Friday.