“They Thought They Were Free”
… the title of Milton Mayer's story of what happened in Germany starting in 1933–and the origin of the following quote:
"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security….
"This separation of government from people … took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter."
Glenn Beck quoted that last paragraph recently, and when I looked up this excerpt from "They Thought They Were Free," I got chills. It's true! The similarities are almost beyond belief. Read it yourself and you'll see.