“Arbeit Macht Frei”


Background: The sign at the entrance of the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, which was one of the biggest Nazi concentration camps used to Murder Jewish people. The sign says “Arbeit Macht Frei” which means “Work sets you free” in English.

Nathanial Brown, 10th Grader at BCECHS






The guard dressed in his Feldgrau suit

with his black cross-like symbol on the bright red armband

looking up at the metal sign

the sign reads Arbeit Macht Frei

then he walks through to meet the Fuhrer’s first officers


The men, women, and children dressed in blue and white striped pajamas

being pushed through the metal gate

getting closer to the smell of death

children screaming and crying

begging their parents to stop the mean men in suits


The atmosphere of death surrounds the grounds

the gate opens to let the Fuhrer through

all through the camp, the silence was prevalent

then in a synchronous breath, the soldiers say, “Heil Hitler.”

Then just as if nothing had ever happened, the soldiers turned

and once again, all you could hear were quiet screams of the people being beaten and the crackle of the metal whips hitting their skin.