'Painful to see' - Gardai alerted after Nazi sign placed over Cork social welfare office
- Department of Social Protection has alerted gardai
- Sign was removed immediately when noticed yesterday
Gardai have been alerted to an “extremely offensive” sign, reminiscent of the Nazi era, placed at a social welfare office in Co Cork.
Members of the public expressed their anger after discovering that a sign placed above the door of the Cork Intreo office on Hanover Street read ‘Jobpath Macht Frei’.
The phrase Arbeit machtfrei - German for “work sets you free” - was placed at the entrance of a number of concentration camps during the holocaust, including Auschwitz.
Jobpath is a social welfare scheme to help unemployed people get back to work.
One man, whose wife is Polish, told Independent.ie that they were “absolutely horrified” by the sign.
“On the behalf of Polish community. I would like to say that people are outraged and will escalate this to find out who put it there.
“I feel ashamed that in our country someone is able to come up with idea like this,” he said.
The Irish Polish Society condemned the signage on Facebook and confirmed that it has now been removed.
“Polish men asked the centre manager for action and the improper sticker disappeared in 20 minutes. Big thanks to all involved. We can't be indifferent to inhuman behavior,” a spokesperson said.
The official Auschwitz Memorial account on Twitter described the sign as “painful to see”.
.@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
“Those words became one of the icons of human hatred. It's painful to see this symbol 'interpreted' over Cork Employment Services Office,” it stated.
In a statement, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection said it reported the matter to the gardai.
“An extremely offensive sign had been placed on the outside of its office in Hanover Street, Cork 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 Gardai,” the statement read.