“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
Can you imagine a world in which the Holocaust never occurred? Or a World War that never took place? Can you imagine all the lives that would have been saved, families that never had to be bereaved of their children, and the millions of men, women, and children whose lives could have been spared? If only the people would have stopped the destruction before it took place. No one ever expected the Holocaust to happen. Who could imagine that such evil embodied through Hitler and his regime could have ever taken place? Were there no warning signs to the people of Germany? Yes, there was.
The Germans told the Jewish people they couldn’t swim in their swimming pools, but no one protested too strongly. Then they said they couldn’t attend their schools, “No problem,” said the Jewish people, “We’ll make our own schools.” Little by little their rights were stripped from them and taken away through deceptive measures, but no one ever imagined the horror that awaited them because they tolerated the beginning trickles of injustice that left governmental power unchecked, which ended up billowing into one of the most tragic events in history. Everything that Hitler did looked like law, smelled like law, even had the color of law, but was not law. What is it that we have learned from looking back and studying the past?
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