Yesterday's theft of the iron "arbeit macht freit" ("work makes you free") sign at the Auschwitz memorial, may signal more than disrespect for the Holocaust. It may be yet another attempt to erase it.
Holocaust revisionists have long accused the structures of Auschwitz as being replicas, fabrications. They have tested the soil and bricks in countless futile attempts to debunk the "myth" of Auschwitz. Curators of the Auschwitz museum have long been cautious of tending to the museum's exhibits behind glass in fear of additional accusations from revisionists.
The physical erasure of history is becoming a common practice - whether the Taliban's destruction of Afghanistan's rich Buddhist past, or more recent politically motivated destruction of religious archaeology beneath the Temple Mount.
The Polish Police should divert considerable resources to finding the original 16 foot-long wrought iron sign, which presided above more than one million prisoners who entered the camp and never left. A replacement of a modern fabricated sign will inevitably open the door for more heartless accusations that Auschwitz and its genocide is a mere invention. Sadly, the sign is as important a shield against Holocaust revisionism as it is an emotional touchstone for future generations to remember this darkest hour of our humanity.
Daniel Levin is the author of the bestselling novel, The Last Ember.