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Don’t ever think “It can’t happen here. . . .”

January 19, 2017

First they came. . . .

First 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 for me.

— poem/statement by Martin Niemöller, German Protestant pastor during the Nazi era

He was held eight months without trial and when his case eventually took place he was found guilty of “abusing the pulpit” and was fined 2,000 marks. As he left the court he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp to be “re-educated”. Niemöller refused to change his views and was later transferred to Dachau.

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