30.04.2011 26.Nisan, 5771 Kedischim; Tag 11 des Omer
On April 26, 1934, one of the most feared, brutal, atrocious state security services ever known to mankind was officially established in Germany.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
In his oft-quoted statement describing apathy toward the arrests of "others" in Nazi Germany, German Pastor Martin Niemöller actually wrote of the supra-judicial Gestapo roundups that targeted political dissidents, Jews and general "undesirables." Niemöller too was arrested by the Nazi secret police in 1937 and sent to the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps for speaking out against Hitler’s Nazism; he was one of the few who survived. Millions of others rounded up by the Gestapo and shipped off to Nazi death camps were not so lucky.
On April 26, 1934, one of the most feared, brutal and atrocious state security services ever known to mankind was officially established in Germany. From its earliest days, the Gestapo, eagerly tasked with suppressing and eliminating all dissent against Nazi power and ideology, was a feared institution that put a stranglehold on the minds and bodies of hundreds of millions of Germans and Europeans that fell under Nazi control. Several years after its inception, the Gestapo also played one of the most central roles players in the most notorious act of genocide in history – the Holocaust….