First They Came ...

by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, 18921984


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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


Several differnet versions of the poem have been published, beginning in the 1950s. Niemöller has stated that there were no minutes or copy of what he said. What is not in doubt is that his poem starts with the Communists and ends with the Jews.


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