Monday, April 25, 2011

First They Came...


Pastor Martin Niemoller lived in Germany during the Nazi regime. He was at first a supporter of the Nazi party, but later changed his position and actively opposed them. He had to spend some time in prison due to his anti-state activities.

He was frustrated with the complacent state of the German intelligentsia. He took his vexation out in the form of a poem, a translation of which appears below.

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Perhaps we should learn something.

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