Nazi graffiti prompts look at Detroit plant

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tags: Nazis, graffiti, Packard, Detroit

"Arbeit macht frei" means "labor makes one free" in German. These words became a symbol of Jewish oppression under the Third Reich, as the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz bore this legend. In February, this slogan appeared in graffiti across the walkway of Detroit's derelict Packard plant on East Grand. It ignited a firestorm of debate. Jewish groups and Holocaust survivor collectives pushed for its removal, saying it was an offensive, ugly reminder of past suffering, reports the Detroit Free Press. Packard has a long history of notoriety in Detroit.

The walkway where the sign appeared connects two sides of what was Packard's 35-acre industrial complex. The plant opened in 1903 and became the luxury auto leader in the '20s, outselling Cadillac and all competitors combined, says a Detroit Free Press special report....

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