Martin Niemoeller

From Conservapedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and who was among pastors opposing the Nazi regime. Their revolt against Hitler's influence of Protestant Church and Nazi's meddling into its internal affairs as well as collaborative attitude of Church's establishment lead in 1933 to creating and organizing the so called Confessing Church (in German Bekennende Kirche) which stood in opposition to official Church. In 1936 Niemöller wrote to a number of other pastors a letter in which Hitler is held accountable for breaking Biblical ethics and anti-semitism: "In contrast to the anti-Semitism that National Socialism preaches, Bible commands us to love God and our neighbors." The position of the Confessing Church was that the Church itself must organize its life on its own, without the interference from the state into its affairs. In 1937 Niemöller was arrested and put on trial.[1] He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps[2] until he was liberated, in 1945, by the Allies from Dachau concentration camp.[1]

He became famous for his below quote used in his lectures during the early postwar period and having different versions as it was used in a number of settings. His point was that Germans--in particular, he believed, the leaders of the mainstream Protestant churches (obviously except the so called Confessing Church - in German Bekennende Kirche which he helped to establish) --had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people.

Quote

In Germany, the Nazis first came for the Communists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me... and by that time, there was no one to speak up for anyone. - Martin Niemoeller, Pastor, German Evangelical (Lutheran) Church [1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bekennende Kirche (Dutch). Vrije Encyclopedie van het Conflict Israël - Palestina. Retrieved on March 9, 2014. “Bekennende Kirche Duitse predikanten komen in opstand tegen Hitler. · Ontstaat in reactie op de rol die Hitler tijdens zijn bewind toekent aan de Kerk. · Volgens sommigen verliest de Kerk door toedoen van Hitler haar ware doel in de samenleving. · Predikant Martin Niemöller meent dat de nazi-leider het niet goed voorheeft met de Kerk en zo ontstaat de Bekennende Kirche. · De groepering organiseert zich vanaf 1933. · In 1936 schrijft Niemöller met een aantal andere predikanten een memo waarin Hitler ter verantwoording wordt geroepen. · ‘In tegenstelling tot het antisemitisme dat het nationaal-socialisme predikt, gaat het in de Bijbel om het gebod om God en je naaste lief te hebben', zo staat in de memo te lezen. · De Bekennende Kirche meent dat de Kerk haar zaken zelf moet regelen, zonder inmenging van de staat. · In 1937 wordt Niemöller gearresteerd en berecht. · In 1945 wordt hij door de geallieerden uit concentratiekamp Dachau bevrijd. ... · Volgens de Amerikaanse politicoloog Daniel Goldhagen hebben de leiders van de rooms-katholieke kerk zich tijdens het nazi-bewind ernstig misdragen. Hij maakt een uitzondering voor de Bekennende Kirche.”
  2. Martin Niemöller: "First They Came For The Socialists...". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved on March 8, 2014.
Personal tools