“First they came . . .” by Martin Niemoller
First 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 for me.
— Martin Niemöller
The author was a Lutheran pastor and theologian born in Germany in 1892. This quotation and many variations of it appeared in his public addresses in the 1930’s, and in the 50’s people began to line it out as poetry, which further boosted its popularity.