There can be no copies or reproductions; visitors must see only what was real. In that way they will be bear witness to the very objects and structures which in turn remain the mute eyewitness to what happened there.
Perhaps that is what makes the theft of this sign so shocking and essentially irreplaceable. Auschwitz is surely the very antithesis of a cathedral - not a spiritual temple evoking heaven but a hellish factory of death.
Yet, in this opposite universe those scrolled letters were its altarpiece, and its theft a desecration.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Viewpoint: Why the Auschwitz sign is irreplaceable by Rabbi Andrew Baker.