Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, KBE, had been silent for most of his career. Actor, writer, director, composer, businessman, he was a one-man machine, wielding his power with grace and aplomb. His first feature-length film, The Kid (1921), was followed with a series of successful movies through the 1920s. In the 30s, when film went to talkies, Sir Charles did not follow. He maintained his silence, producing City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) without dialogue.
With Hitler’s rise, however, he could remain silent no longer. Greatness cannot exist where hatred is allowed to thrive, unchecked. His 1940 classic, The Great Dictator, featured a powerful speech (below) that not only spoke to the horrors of Hitler’s day, but remains a warning cry against all of us who would be silent in the face of would-be despots.
To the Donald Trumps of the world, we see you, we hear you, and we will not be silent in our opposition to your vile hatred.