Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The silence, is deafening

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 me

and there was no one left to speak out for me.


German theologian, Martin Niem”ller



Its interesting to note that Niem''ller was at the start a conservative and a supporter of Hitler. A navel officer, he initially welcomed Hitler's accession to power in 1939, believing that it would bring about a sense of national revival.

While in prison, having been tried for 'activities against the State" he was once asked why he had supported the Nazi Party. His response:

"I find myself wondering about that too. I wonder about it as much as I regret it. Still, it is true that Hitler betrayed me. I had an audience with him, as a representative of the Protestant Church, shortly before he became Chancellor, in 1932. Hitler promised me on his word of honor, to protect the Church, and not to issue any anti-Church laws. He also agreed not to allow pogroms against the Jews, assuring me as follows: "There will be restrictions against the Jews, but there will be no ghettos, no pogroms, in Germany."

I really believed, given the widespread anti-Semitism in Germany, at that time—that Jews should avoid aspiring to Government positions or seats in the Reichstag. There were many Jews, especially among the Zionists, who took a similar stand. Hitler's assurance satisfied me at the time. On the other hand, I hated the growing atheistic movement, which was fostered and promoted by the Social Democrats and the Communists. Their hostility toward the Church made me pin my hopes on Hitler for a while.

I am paying for that mistake now; and not me alone, but thousands of other persons like me."


Strange how history keeps repeating itself....

5 comments:

  1. http://transcurrents.com/tc/2010/02/fonsekas_arrest_is_part_of_mul.html#more

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ Maks: I know, but things seem to be changing!

    @ Chavie: Its like we are in a constant state of re boot!

    @ Anonymous:I had, and thought it was brilliantly insightful!

    ReplyDelete