Italian Jews Angered as City Govt Uses ‘Work Sets You Free’ Phrase on Posters

Auschwitz (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)
Joel Pollak / Breitbart News

Members of the Italian Jewish community expressed anger after the Naples city government created a poster to celebrate May Day containing the same phrase used on the gates of the Auschwitz death camp.

The phrase “solo il lavoro rende liberi” or “only work makes you free” was seen on the posters created by the Naples Department of Social and Work Policies — nearly identical to the Auschwitz gate’s infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” or “work sets you free” slogan.

The Naples Jewish community reacted immediately to the posters, saying: “We consider the episode a dangerous example of how direct knowledge of what has happened has less and less consideration in certain administrations, evidently more accustomed to the trivialization of historical events than to the correct perception of their correct meaning.”

Monica Buonanno, the Councilor for Social Policies and Labor for the Municipality of Naples, quickly changed the posters to the phrase “only work creates dignity” and claimed that the stress of the coronavirus outbreak had led to the misstep.

Lydia Schapirer, president of the Naples Jewish community, said that “such casual use of words, reveals unacceptable superficiality, insensitivity and ignorance on the part of an institution.”

Many leftist politicians, trade unions and other groups were forced to engage in May Day celebrations online rather than in person due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The data has also been used as an excuse for violence by militant far-left Antifa extremists in cities like Paris and Berlin, with the latter seeing some violence this year when a team of journalists from broadcaster ZDF were attacked by a group of around 15 people.

Four members of the television crew were rushed to the hospital due to their injuries, with two seriously injured. Police arrested five men and a woman in connection with the incident, with all believed to be far-left extremists.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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