Then they came for me — Martin Niemöller, Germany

First 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 for me.

 

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a German Protestant pastor who spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

 

The quotation stems from Niemöller’s lectures during the early postwar period. Different versions of the quotation exist.