“He asked me whether…”

“He asked me whether I had known anybody connected with the West Coast deportations [of Japanese-Americans during WWII]. When I said, ‘No,’ he asked me what I had done about it. When I said ‘Nothing,’ he said, triumphantly, ‘There. You learned about all these things openly, through your government and your press. We did not learn through ours. As in your case, nothing was required of us — in our case, not even knowledge. You knew about things you thought were wrong — you did think it was wrong, didn’t you, Herr Professor?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘So. You did nothing. We heard, or guessed, and we did nothing. So it is everywhere.’ When I protested that the Japanese-descended Americans had not been treated like the Jews, he said, ‘And if they had been — what then? Do you nit see that the idea of doing something or doing nothing is in either case the same?'”

— Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free: the Germans, 1933-45 

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