On Monday, Twitter user @Peine01 posted this quote from Erich Kästner, a German writer.
The quote reads:
The events from 1933 to 1945 should have been battled in 1928 at the latest. Later was already too late. One must not wait until liberty is called treason. One must not wait till the snowball has become an avalanche. One must squelch the rolling snowball. The avalanche can't be stopped anymore...
The year 1928 refers to the first federal election in Germany in which the Nazi Party could stand. Although the party gained only 3% of the vote, it marked the beginning of the Nazis' rise to power.
Kästner said the lines in 1958 at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the book burnings in Berlin on May 10, 1933, which he witnessed first-hand.
The quote resonated with many German people on Twitter, who are expecting to see Germany's far-right party Alternative for Germany (AFD) gain votes in the coming federal election.
Since Monday, the quote has been retweeted over 2,000 times.
And has inspired some to find other famous quotes that fit current world events.
People outside Germany also found meaning in the quote.
This post was translated from German.
Karsten Schmehl ist Reporter für Social News und Desinformation bei BuzzFeed News und lebt in Berlin.
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Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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