Niemoeller and “When They Came for Me. . . “
Today’s quote from A.Word.A.Day:
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the
tormentor, never the tormented.
-Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b.1928)
When I read this quote, I was reminded of Pastor Martin Niemoeller’s poem about Nazi Germany, “When They Came For Me:”
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.”
We are all by nature cowards. We take the easy way out, we look the other way, we tell ourselves “later” I will do this or that, “later” I will get involved. When our nations and our character slide into the dumps, we have no one but ourselves to blame.