Dachau concentration camp gate
The iron gate from the Dachau concentration camp in Germany bearing the notorious "Arbeit macht frei" (work sets you free) slogan, which has been recovered in west Norway two years after it was stolen, police said. REUTERS/Police Norway/Handout via Reuters

German police believe that an iron gate, stolen from the site of the Dachau Nazi concentration camp in 2014, has been found in Norway.

The gate, which bears the Nazi slogan 'Arbeit Macht Frei', or 'work sets you free' in German, was recovered outside of Bergen, on the west coast of Norway.

Police in Bavaria say that they acted on an anonymous tip-off, notifying local police, who found the infamous gate exposed to the elements and amongst autumnal leaves. They say that the gate is "highly likely" to be the one that was seen by thousands of Jews, political prisoners, foreigners and other persecuted groups between 1933 and 1945.

It is estimated that more than 41,000 people were slaughtered in Dachau before US troops liberated it on April 29, 1945. Initially housing political prisoners, many of the camp's inmates were shot or gassed, with thousands of others dying through disease or overwork.

Now a memorial, the site is visited by thousands of people every year and it was feared that the 100-kilogram (220-pound) gate was stolen by neo-Nazis on 2 November 2014. There have been no reports of any arrests in connection with the theft.

Bergen police spokeswoman Margrethe Myrmehl Gudbrandsen told the Agent France Press agency: "It was found in the open air. You can tell that it's been outside but it's in good condition."

Bergen police later released photos of the gate leaning against a low wall. Gudbrandsen added that the gate will be returned to the German authorities "as soon as possible."

Police in the southern German state of Bavaria, said in a statement: "From the picture transmitted, police believe it is highly likely that this is the iron gate that was stolen from Dachau," according to the Times of Israel.

At the time of the theft police offered a 10,000-euro (£8,641; $11,000) reward for tip-offs that could lead to the recovery of the gate. The Dachau camp is located near Munich and opened less than two months after Adolf Hitler became chancellor.

Today, some 800,000 visitors from around the world visit the camp each year. Gabriele Hammermann, director of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, said the gate would once again go on display.