Jewish leader urges to Germans to show more civil courage
The leader of Germany's Central Council of Jews urges Germans to show more civil courage, in a statement marking the 75th anniversary of Hitler's rise to power.
30th January 2008
Munich (dpa) - "Hitler's appointment as chancellor of the German Reich did not happen by chance," Charlotte Knobloch said on Tuesday. "On the contrary, the transformation from a democracy to dictatorship could have been prevented."
This is why January 30 - the day Hitler came to power - should serve as a permanent reminder to stamp out things before they get out of hand and actively confront anti-democratic tendencies, she said.
Knobloch said that more than 60 years after the end of the Nazi dictatorship, there was a danger of historical knowledge and the historical responsibility being lost.
"Soon there will be no more survivors who are able to give an authentic account of the crimes of the past," she said.
In order to compensate for this, politicians and society in general needed to keep alive the memories of the past and hand them on to future generations.
Hitler's appointment as chancellor in 1933 was the first step towards 12 years of dictatorial rule that resulted in a world war with more than 50 million dead, including 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.