Army Mom’s Safe Haven

Pastor Martin Niemöller
Postage stamp, painted by Gerd Aretz in 1992

PASTOR MARTIN NIEMÖLLER

Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (January 14, 1892 – March 6, 1984) was a prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor. He is best known as the author of the poem, “First They Came...” When asked in 1971 about the correct version of the poem, Niemöller said he was not quite sure when he had said the famous words but, if people insist upon citing them, he preferred the following version.

FIRST THEY CAME…
(Preferred Version)

In Germany, they came first for the Communists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then… they came for me…
And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

Pastor Martin Niemöller