Otto Wels Memorial - Herten, Germany
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member g300td
N 51° 35.629 E 007° 08.161
32U E 370886 N 5717508
Quick Description: "You can take our lives and our freedom, but you cannot take our honour. We are defenseless but not honourless."
Location: Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Date Posted: 4/9/2015 9:19:39 AM
Waymark Code: WMNNMB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 0

Long Description:
"Otto Wels (15 September 1873 – 16 September 1939) was the chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1919 and a member of parliament from 1920 to 1933.
On March 23, 1933 Wels was the only member of the Reichstag to speak against Adolf Hitler's Enabling Act (the "Law for Removing the Distress of People and Reich"). The vote took place during the last session of the multi-party Reichstag, on March 23, 1933. Because the Reichstag building itself had suffered heavy fire damage in February, the March session was held in Berlin's Kroll Opera House. Despite the incipient persecution of leftist and opposition politicians and the presence of the SA, he made a courageous speech opposing the Enabling Act, which gave the Reich cabinet the right to pass laws without the consent of the Reichstag for a period of four years.
He stated:
"At this historic hour, we German Social Democrats pledge ourselves to the principles of humanity and justice, of freedom and Socialism. No Enabling Law can give you the power to destroy ideas which are eternal and indestructible ... From this new persecution too German Social Democracy can draw new strength. We send greetings to the persecuted and oppressed. We greet our friends in the Reich. Their steadfastness and loyalty deserve admiration. The courage with which they maintain their convictions and their unbroken confidence guarantee a brighter future."
Speaking directly to Hitler, Wels proclaimed,
"You can take our lives and our freedom, but you cannot take our honour. We are defenseless but not honourless.""
Source Wikipedia
The German words on the memorial:

Otto Wels
Sozialdemokratischer Partei- und Fraktionsvorsitzender in der letzten freien Rede im Reichstag vor Ausschaltung des Parlamentes durch die Nationalsozialisten am 23. März 1933
" Kein Ermächtigungsgesetz gibt Ihnen die Macht, Ideen, die ewig und unzerstörbar sind, zu vernichten.
Freiheit und Leben kann man uns nehmen, die Ehre nicht."
Website with more information on either the memorial or the person(s) it is dedicated to: [Web Link]

Location: Otto-Wels-Platz, Herten

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