They Came First…

Martin Niemöller was a German theologian and Lutheran pastor. He is best known for his opposition to the Nazi regime during the late 1930s and for his widely quoted 1946 poem “First they came…”

Although he was an opponent of the Nazi regime. In the 1920s and early 1930s, he sympathized with many Nazi ideas and supported radically right-wing political movements. But after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Niemöller became an outspoken critic of Hitler’s interference in the Protestant Church. He spent the last eight years of Nazi rule, from 1937 to 1945, in Nazi prisons and concentration camps.

This is the poem he wrote, its words are still relevant now.

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


My phonebook is thinning out- A poem of grief and consolation.

My phonebook is thinning out, not by design but by fate.
The numbers are still there yet calling them is meaningless, for there will be no answer.
You would give anything just to hear that voice one more time.
Sometimes you feel like just giving up, but you know it is disrespectful to those who never gave up and lived a full life.
Then you hear a story of a 10-year-old boy whose death could have been avoided, and in a bizarre way it gives you consolation.
Because you know that those you said goodbye to those weren’t robbed of their prime, and although their life was cut short they still had a life more fruitful than that of many who lived longer.