The Department of Social Protection has said it removed an “extremely offensive sign” from one of its Cork offices as soon as it became aware of it.
It comes after the words ‘Job Path Macht Frei’ were placed above the entrance to the Intreo office on Hanover Street in the city.
The lettering mirrored that of the infamous "Arbeit macht frei" sign placed over the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The slogan, which translates as ‘work will set you free’ appeared over a number of Nazi concentration during the holocaust.
Dept Employment Affairs & Social Protection confirms that an extremely
offensive sign was placed on outside of Hanover Street office, Cork by unknown persons yesterday. It was removed immediately. We very much regret that this happened. We have reported it to the Gardaí.
— welfare.ie (@welfare_ie) October 17, 2019
In a statement, the Department of Social Protection said the sign was placed outside the office by “unknown persons” yesterday afternoon and was “removed immediately.”
“The Department very much regrets that this happened at one of its offices and it has reported the matter to the Gardaí,” it said.
.@welfare_ie "Arbeit macht frei" was a false, cynical illusion the SS gave to prisoners of the #Auschwitz camp. Those words became one of the icons of human hatred hate. It's painful to see this symbol 'interpreted' over '#Cork Employment Services Office'. Please remove it. pic.twitter.com/MaXZUCtseT
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 17, 2019
After images of the sign were shared online, the Auschwitz Memorial warned that the slogan was a “false, cynical illusion the SS gave to prisoners of the Auschwitz camp.”
“Those words became one of the icons of human hatred hate. It's painful to see this symbol 'interpreted' over Cork Employment Services Office.
“Please remove it.”