First they came...

statement and provocative poem attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller

The poem First they came... was written by Martin Niemöller. It is a criticism of the way people in Nazi Germany did not stop the Nazi Party from treating other people poorly.

The poem is as follows:[1]

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

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