Martin Niemöller

Martin Niemöller Poems

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Martin Niemöller Biography

Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (German: [ˈniːmœlɐ]; 14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984) was a German anti-Nazi, theologian and Lutheran pastor. He is best known for his statement "First they came ...". Although he was a national conservative and initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler, he became one of the founders of the Confessional Church, which opposed the nazification of German Protestant churches. He vehemently opposed the Nazis' Aryan Paragraph, but made remarks about Jews that some scholars have called antisemitic. For his opposition to the Nazis' state control of the churches, Niemöller was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1937 to 1945. He narrowly escaped execution and survived imprisonment. After his imprisonment, he expressed his deep regret about not having done enough to help the victims of the Nazis. He turned away from his earlier nationalistic beliefs and was one of the initiators of the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt. From the 1950s on, he was a vocal pacifist and anti-war activist, and vice-chair of War Resisters' International from 1966 to 1972. He met with Ho Chi Minh during the Vietnam War and was a committed campaigner for nuclear disarmament.)

The Best Poem Of Martin Niemöller

First They Came For The Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

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

Martin Niemöller Comments

James Daws 07 October 2020

I have a feeling this poem could relate to it starting to happen worldwide again, check out agenda 21, , date today 07/10/20

4 0 Reply
Susan Martin 12 October 2019

Are his poems worth any thing I have one that he signed

1 3 Reply
juj hyj 26 January 2021

depends what he singed

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Ivor D'Souza 24 January 2021

To me, the worth is in the message the writer brings to light, that if we do not stand up to injustice being meted out to a fellow human being, we will one day be faced with an injustice to ourselves, and we will not have anyone stand up for us. The value in that is inestimable.

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Wesley L. Boykin 15 April 2019

Can someone post the correct, original version with a source?

1 0 Reply
Sonja de Vries 06 July 2018

This version is incorrect. First they came for the communists is the original first line, and also is true historically. It is a shame that people have rewritten this quote to fit their political perspectives.

5 0 Reply

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