Martin Niemoller was a German Lutheran pastor who spoke out against the Nazis.
The poem in which he relates his early silence as successive groups were persecuted by the National Socialists begins with “First they came for…” and ends with his famous “And there was no one left to speak for me.”
First they came for the unborn
little people newly formed
curled-up helpless and forlorn
and so the babies died
And then they came to get the old
Useless eaters truth be told
just a waste of precious gold
and so the aged died
Silent in the awful battle
a peace sign, not a cross, our brand
we graze content amongst the cattle
in the pasture of the damned
And then they came for the depressed
offering them PAS
suicide upon request
and the despondent died
And when alas there comes a day
dark and drear they’ll come our way
as heaven looks down in dismay
and rules it suicide.
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