Lost Poetry Quotations
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when they came for me there was noone left to speak for me
Posted by: mek (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: June 13, 2003 06:28PM

I am looking for the name and author of the poem that ends and when they came for me there was no one left to speak for me. I cannot recall the rest of the poem other than the general idea.
Thanks for your assistance,

Mary


Re: looking for a poem
Posted by: Les (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: June 13, 2003 06:46PM

It's not a poem it's taken from testimony given by Martin Niemoller.

Some might remember seeing this paraphrased quote by Pastor Martin Niemöller, from testimony he gave to Congress back in 1968:

"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 the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me
and by then there was no one left to speak out for me.

Les


Re: looking for a poem
Posted by: mek (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: June 13, 2003 08:29PM

Les,
Thank you for the info.


Pastor Niemoller
Posted by: Henryp (213.78.97.---)
Date: June 15, 2003 06:45PM

Whilst I'm sure that Pastor Niemoller is the source mek is looking for, I can't find any authority for the occasion that he said it. The evidence to Congress was not given by Pastor Niemoller himself but, apparently, by Howard Samuels speaking and "recalling the answer that Pastor Martin Niemoller...gave..."

In addition, there are several different versions of his quotation in circulation. Here's just one of them;
When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.
~ According to Harry W. Mazal, this is the exact text of what Martin Niemöller said, and which appears in the Congressional Record, 14 October 1968




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