We Never Believed Such A Terrible Thing Could Happen Here
By: Carolyn Hileman
You have to wonder if in 1941 if the Jewish people had any indication that their world would literally crash down around them. Surely there were rumors, and surely there were people who warned them. I am sure that when someone spoke of such things they were quickly shunned, considered a lunatic and ignored, perhaps they were called rabble-rousers, trouble makers even considered a worse threat than this impending doom they spoke of. It must have been very hard to fathom such a thing happening and I am sure that they went about their daily routines believing that no one would be so cruel.
I am sure they took their kids to school, read the papers, washed the dishes, fed the dog and had a perfectly normal life, the warning and rumorâ€™s just a tiny nagging feeling in the back of their minds. No one would believe it until the German planes filled their skies; no one would entertain the notion until it was too late. Perhaps, had they taken notice they would have been more prepared, perhaps they could have been spared. I imagine that even as they saw their family members shot in cold blood, they still wanted to believe that it was not happening, when they were forced to go into hiding, they believed it only temporary.
At one time I pondered the question of why they allowed this to happen, I wondered why with so many Jews they did not fight back, why they allowed themselves to be starved, why they did the work they were assigned, there were so many of them, surely if they just organized a resistance they could have defied the Germans, but then again first they would have had to believe it would happen. Take into consideration the Americans of today, even after seeing the masses of immigrants illegal and legal in our streets very few will even entertain the thought that those people could or even would consider taking over.
Anyone today who would even dare speak of the possibility that there is an invasion under way is shunned, called names and for the most part ignored. Even though, there were more people in our streets those days than we sent to invade Normandy, we go about our daily routines. We read the paper; we walk the dog, take the kids to school, go to work, pick up the kids and settle in for a nice evening watching TV. If we notice a blurb on the news about someone who is trying to bring attention to the invasion we consider them rabble-rousers, trouble makers and fear that they might make the rest of the world think we are all kooks. No one ever wants to consider that anyone would dare try to invade us, but if you look around you will see the signs that it has already started.
We have already stood by as our people have been pushed aside for jobs, educational grants, and government help. We have allowed our own people to be beaten, killed and incinerated because we are more afraid of looking stupid than we are at being run from our homes, our possessions taken and our lives being destroyed. We would much rather vote for someone who will give us a wink and a nod when it comes to our security than someone who is serious about stopping any so called invasion. Simon Wiesenthal, once said “For your benefit, learn from our tragedy. It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews.” And Martin Niemoeller, said In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up. We have already had our planes, we watched them sear an indelible memory in our brains and we watched as millions of people took to our streets to demand rights that were never to be theirs and still we refuse to see the writing on the wall. In the years to come people will be looking back to today and they will be wondering why we didnâ€™t even try to stop it and we will tell them because we never believed such a terrible thing could happen here.
In the End,
we will remember
not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
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