Madison – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement marking today’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most notorious of the Nazi extermination camps.
“As time continues to take from us those who served in the Second World War, time is also taking from us those who firsthand suffered and survived the Holocaust. With their passing, the memory of the Holocaust must not. I hope you will join me in remembering the Auschwitz victims’ suffering, as well as the survivors’ perseverance to live and tell the world what happened,” said Carpenter.
The vast majority of the victims killed in this extermination camp were European Jews, but others also not deemed to be acceptable to the Nazi ideologies were also exterminated, including gay and lesbian people, gypsies, and Polish prisoners of war.
Pastor Martin Niemoller is credited with authoring a poem about the reticence of some Germans following the Nazi’s rise to power. The United States Holocaust Museum quotes the following text as an English translation of the poem.
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.