„When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.“
— Martin Niemöller, "First they came..." – The origins of this poem first have been traced to a speech given by Niemöller on January 6, 1946, to the representatives of the Confessing Church in Frankfurt. According to research http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/niem.htm by Harold Marcuse, the original groups mentioned in the speech were Communists, the incurably sick, Jews, and people in occupied countries. Since then, the contents have often been altered to produce numerous variants. Niemöller himself came up with different versions, depending on the year. The most famous and well known alterations are perhaps those beginning "First they came for the Jews" of which this is one of the more commonly encountered: 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. Another variant extends the comparisons to incude Catholics and Protestants: In Germany they first came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't 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 that time no one was left to speak up. Other translations or variants: 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. Twenty-five years later Niemöller indicated that this was the version he preferred, in a 1971 interview. When the Nazis came for the communists, I did not speak out; As I was not a communist. <p> When they locked up the social democrats, I did not speak out; I was not a social democrat. <p> When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; As I was not a trade unionist. <p> When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out; As I was not a Jew. <p> When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out. When the Nazis arrested the Communists, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Communist. When they locked up the Social Democrats, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Social Democrat. When they arrested the trade unionists, I said nothing; after all, I was not a trade unionist. When they arrested me, there was no longer anyone who could protest. First the Nazis came… First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a communist; Then 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 out for me. Online source for German quote: Martin Niemöller Stiftung, 22.09.2005, Wiesbaden http://www.martin-niemoeller-stiftung.de/4/daszitat/a31
„All I insist on, and nothing else, is that you should show the whole world that you are not afraid. Be silent, if you choose; but when it is necessary, speak—and speak in such a way that people will remember it.“
— Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Austrian Romantic composer 1756 - 1791
Letter as published in The Letters of Mozart & His Family (1938) translated and edited by Emily Anderson, p. 1114.
„When in the end, the day came on which I was going away, I learned the strange learning that things can happen which we ourselves cannot possibly imagine, either beforehand, or at the time when they are taking place, or afterwards when we look back on them.“
— Karen Blixen, Out of Africa / Shadows on the Grass
„I was a Nazi and I remain one... The Germany of today is no longer a great nation, it has become a province of Europe.“
— Joachim Peiper SS officer 1915 - 1976
Interview with a French writer Peiper spoke with in 1967, quoted in The Devil's Adjutant by Michael Reynolds, page 260.
„"I was obsessed with fairytales, and I was a very, very inquisitive kid, and I would ask my mom all kinds of questions. It all kind of formed a story in my head, and I really wanted to be a published author when I was 10, but I had a hard time writing a novel when I was 10, so I decided to wait until I was little bit older and then get it done." -Chris Colfer on how he came up with the idea of TLOS“
— Chris Colfer actor, singer, book author 1990
— Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
„When I came back to my native country, after all the stories about Hitler, I couldn't ride in the front of the bus. I had to go to the back door. I couldn't live where I wanted. I wasn't invited to shake hands with Hitler, but I wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President, either.“
— Jesse Owens American track and field athlete 1913 - 1980
As quoted in "Owens pierced a myth" http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00016393.html (2005), by Larry Schwartz, ESPN SportsCentury
„My 'morals' were sound, even a bit puritanic, but when a hidebound old deacon inveighed against dancing I rebelled. By the time of graduation I was still a 'believer' in orthodox religion, but had strong questions which were encouraged at Harvard. In Germany I became a freethinker and when I came to teach at an orthodox Methodist Negro school I was soon regarded with suspicion, especially when I refused to lead the students in public prayer. When I became head of a department at Atlanta, the engagement was held up because again I balked at leading in prayer. I refused to teach Sunday school. When Archdeacon Henry Phillips, my last rector, died, I flatly refused again to join any church or sign any church creed. From my 30th year on I have increasingly regarded the church as an institution which defended such evils as slavery, color caste, exploitation of labor and war..“
— W.E.B. Du Bois, The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century
„The moment I saw her, a part of me walked out of my body and wrapped itself around her. And there it still remains.“
— Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
„Despite the buy don't build credo I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to create the web on my own.“
— Tim Berners-Lee British computer scientist, inventor of the World Wide Web 1955
Context: At CERN there was a credo meant to avoid unnecessary labors, it said that when acquiring new technology: Buy, Don't Build. There were several commercial hypertext editors and I thought we could just add some internet code, so that the hypertext documents could then be sent over the internet. I thought the companies engaged in the then fringe field of hypertext would immediately grasp the possibilities of the web. Unfortunately, their reaction was quite the opposite... it seemed that explaining the vision of the web was exceedingly difficult without a web browser in hand, people had to be able to grasp the web in full, which meant imagining a whole world populated with websites and browsers. It was a lot to ask. Despite the buy don't build credo I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to create the web on my own.
— Madonna American singer, songwriter, and actress 1958