Reflections for Holocaust Memorial Day

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

Pastor Martin Niemoller


First they came for the Communists…

After the Reichstag fire on February 27, 1933, Hitler ordered the arrest of anyone with ties to the Communist Party. By the end of March, around 20,000 people had been arrested.

…and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist


Then they came for homosexuals…

Homosexual prisoners at the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, wearing pink triangles on their uniforms, are marched outdoors by Nazi guards on December 19, 1938.

…. and I did not speak out because I was not homosexual


Then they came for the Jews…

© Wiener Library
A train load of Jewish prisoners being segregated at Auschwitz, into those to be murdered immediately and those to be exploited first as forced labour.

…and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew


But some did speak out for the Jewish people

© Wiener Library
Kindertransport girls passing through customs

On 25 November, after discussion in the House of Commons, British citizens heard an appeal for foster homes on the BBC Home Service. Soon there were 500 offers. Muriel Roberts, in Grantham, was contacted by her pen-friend Edith Mühlbauer from Vienna and the Roberts family, with the help of local Rotarians, raised the money and hosted Edith. Later Muriel’s younger sister Margaret (by then Thatcher) wrote, “When people ask, “What can one person do?” … Never hesitate to do whatever you can, for you may save a life.”

Some more information about the Kindertransport:
Wikipedia
Quakers in Britain