Neanderthals are the original “missing link.” That hypothesized link in the chain that connects us to our ever-more-apelike ancestors. Neanderthals have long been assumed to be “less than” human. In anthropological circles, even in lower level anthropology courses, that assumption has been under debate.
I cannot think of anything more representative of the absolute worst that humans are capable of than the words on this gate. Arbeit Macht Frei–Work Makes You Free.
How long did these gates stand before the words on them took on the meaning they now have? I can’t imagine stepping off of a train, not quite knowing what was in store but fearing the worst, and seeing this phrase.