A STICKER which appeared at the entrance to a social welfare jobs scheme centre in Cork has been condemned by the Auschwitz Memorial Centre after it was brought to their attention by the Irish-Polish Society.
The sticker, which appeared on the door to the building, quoted "Jobpath Macht Frei", an obvious adaption to "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work sets you free), which appeared over the entrance to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The Auschwitz Memorial notified Ireland's Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection of the sticker, and condemned it, saying:
""Arbeit macht frei" was a false, cynical illusion the SS gave to prisoners of the Auschwitz camp. Those words became one of the icons of human hatred hate. It's painful to see this symbol 'interpreted' over Cork Employment Services Office. Please remove it."
.@welfare_ie "Arbeit macht frei" was a false, cynical illusion the SS gave to prisoners of the #Auschwitz camp. Those words became one of the icons of human hatred hate. It's painful to see this symbol 'interpreted' over '#Cork Employment Services Office'. Please remove it. pic.twitter.com/MaXZUCtseT
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 17, 2019
TD Noel Rock responded to the Auschwitz Memorial and said he had requested that the sticker be immediately removed, and stressed that the JobPath centre had not purposely placed the sticker there, saying "[I] strongly suspect this is a prank that has been placed there without knowledge of said office".
Once notified, the Intreo centre quickly removed the sticker.
The Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection released a statement which reads:
"Dept Employment Affairs & Social Protection confirms that an extremely offensive sign was placed on outside of Hanover Street office, in Cork by unknown persons yesterday. It was removed immediately.
We very much regret that this happened."
JobPath is a scheme which aims to assist those on long-term unemployment benefits to find full-time paid work, but has been mired in controversy since its launch in 2015, with Fraud cases, welfare cuts and only a fraction of those involved successfully keeping a job for more than a year.
Gardaí have been notified of the incident.