Thought Of The Day

Submitted by contributor Donald Beezley.

Donald was a regular contributor to our old mailing list which is now longer operational. He forwarded many varied and interesting phots and other information to us at that time and we are now pleased to welcome him as our latest contributor. Donald is well-travelled having lived in Germany, Rhodesia, South Africa and USA.

If only we knew for whom to speak…

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

The above is the poetic form of a post-war confessional prose by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals and certain clergy—including, by his own admission, Niemöller himself—following the Nazis’ rise to power and subsequent incremental purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Many variations and adaptations in the spirit of the original have been published in the English language. It deals with themes of persecution, guilt, repentance, and personal responsibility.

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