Dem. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez caused widespread outrage by quoting a passage about the Holocaust to defend Dem. Rep. Ilhan Omar who was criticized for last week for downplaying the 9/11 attacks by describing them as "some people did something."
Ocasio-Cortez quoted a famous passage by Martin Niemöller, a German Lutheran pastor who publicly opposed Hitler and spent seven years in concentration camps. He's best known for his quote defending bystanders which he said in postwar lectures.
"First they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Finally, they came for me and there was no one left to speak out."
Ocasio-Cortez chose this passage to defend Omar, posting a photo of the quote on her Twitter account and writing below them: “Omar's life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress.”
Ocasio-Cortez was blasted by politicians on the right for responding to verbal criticism of Omar by quoting a passage about people who were forcibly taken away and killed.
Ben Shapiro, a conservative political commentator responded on his Twitter account, "There's something deeply disturbing about AOC making Holocaust references to defend an open and unrepentant anti-Semite who is merely being criticized.”