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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Words from the past

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out
because I was not a socialist;
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;
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Rev. Martin Niemüller, 1945

"Niemoeller was one of the most respected Protestant leaders in Germany. After a signal career as a young man, a decorated U-Boat captain in the First World War, he became an activated Christian. In 1933, when he became the most high profile of Hitler's Christian opponents, he was in charge of a prestigious suburban parish in Berlin-Dahlem.

Niemoeller was a leader in the mobilization of the Pastors' Emergency League, in the Synod that denounced the abuses of the dictatorship in the famous "Six Articles of Barmen," and in other visible joint actions and sermons that finally led to his arrest on 1 July 1937. There were then a few honest judges still functioning in Germany, and when the court let him go with a slap on the wrist Hitler personally ordered his incarceration. Niemoeller was in concentration camp, including long periods of solitary confinement, until the end of the war."

Quoted from Littell's article in Christian Ethics Today

2 Comments:

Anonymous columbia said...

Thank-you for the poem - it's highly appropiate in this situation. I plan to post it on my blog with a link back.

08 March, 2006 09:02  
Blogger ph said...

You're welcome!

08 March, 2006 12:28  

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