Nazi Revival? 'Work Makes You Free' in Canada

Jewish officials denounce picket sign with the Auschwitz slogan spotted during massive anti-austerity rally in Montreal.

Tova Dvorin ,

Auschwitz "Work Sets You Free"
Auschwitz "Work Sets You Free"

No protest is justified in using the Auschwitz-Birkenau slogan "Work Sets You Free," Quebec's Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) told Montreal's CTV News on Thursday - no matter how high emotions run. 

Students held up the sign with the infamous slogan during a mass protest Thursday against anti-austerity measures Quebec is planning to adopt; the plan, if implemented, will reduce spending on education, health care and social services.

"It's unfortunate," CIJA vice president Luciano Del Negro stated. "It minimizes, it trivializes the horror of the Holocaust, it trivializes the barbarism which was suffered not only by Jews, but by gypsies and homosexuals at the hands of the Nazis."

"So I think we have to be careful," he added. "It can easily be misconstrued, misinterpreted as an insult [to] the memory of all those people who suffered the barbarism of Nazis."

"It's unacceptable, it's ignorant - we do not take this as an isolated incident," he continued. "We've seen it in the past."

Some 75,000 people - mostly students and teacher's unions - attended the protests, according to CBC News