The Auschwitz Museum and Memorial condemned a protester who brought a sign featuring the Nazi slogan “Arbeit macht frei” to a rally against Illinois’s stay-at-home orders.
The museum’s official Twitter account responded to a photograph from the “Re-open Illinois” protest, which showed a woman wearing an American flag face mask while carrying a sign reading “Arbeit macht frei, JB.”
The initials appear to be directed to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), who is Jewish.
“‘Arbeit macht frei’ was a false, cynical illusion the SS gave to prisoners of #Auschwitz. Those words became one of the icons of human hatred. It’s painful to see this symbol instrumentalized & used again to spread hate. It’s a symptom of moral & intellectual degeneration,” the tweet reads.
The German phrase meaning “work sets you free” was the slogan displayed at a number of Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Dachau.
The photograph was taken by a registered nurse named Dennis Kosuth, who posted it on Twitter, where it quickly went viral.