Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Lutheran pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. On Ho Chi Minh. 7 BURN 1: being heard FIRST THEY CAME By Martin Niemöller First they came for the Communists And I did not speak out Because I was not a Communist Then they came for the Socialists Nonetheless, Martin Niemöller was one of the earliest Germans to talk publicly about broader complicity in the Holocaust and guilt for what had happened to the Jews. A chief reason that the U.S. War Department immediately after World War II granted accreditation to a special correspondent for religious affairs was the desire to find and support the Christian leaders who had resisted Hitler and survived. He was born in Lippstadt, Westphalia, on January 14th, 1892. He was a submarine commander in World War I. This short piece, ‘First They Came’, is what is known as a prose-poem.Within it, the speaker alludes to the themes of guilt, persecution, and responsibility. In 1936 Niemöller signed a petition along with a group of Protestant churchmen, an action that prompted the mass arrest of nearly 800 men by the Nazis. Martin Niemeoller lived a dangerous life and in many senses he was lucky to survive World War Two as many others were executed for much lesser charges. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. He was born in Lippstadt, Westphalia, on January 14th, 1892. Martin Niemoeller was a Protestant pastor born January 14, 1892, in Lippstadt, Westphalia. The poem speaks on the cowardice of certain segments of the German population as the Nazis decimated their own country. The Rev. Only in 1963, in a West German television interview, did Niemöller acknowledge and make a statement of regret about his own antisemitism (see Gerlach, 2000, p. 47). He is a very strong and determined man, but capable of listening, something that is very rare in a person of his position. He was anti-communist and initially supported the Nazis until the church was made subordinate to state authority.. Martin Niemöller was not arrested until 1937 because he was originally a member of the Nazi party and a war hero. Niemeoller was born in … As quoted in Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (1984) by James Bentley, p. 223; One thing is clear, the president of North Vietnam is not a fanatic. Feb. 28, 2013: Conference paper by Matthew Hockenos, Skidmore College, "Martin Niemöller in America, 1946-1947: ‘A Hero with Limitations’" in: ACCH Quarterly 18:2 (June 2012).. Martin Niemöller is, probably, the most emblematic figure of the German underground to the Third Reich. The finding and freeing of Martin Niemöller at the end of the war. He was sentenced to seven months in prison. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. In 1934, he started the Pastors’ Emergency League to defend the church. He had been a U-boat captain in WW I, prior to becoming a pastor; he had supported Hitler prior to the time that Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany in 1933. In the 1930s German cleric Martin Niemoeller said of the Nazis, “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Martin Niemöller was arrested on 1 July 1937 and on 2 March 1938 tried for “activities against the state”. It was part of a post-war confession made in German by the German Lutheran paster Martin Neimöller. Old News/Site History (back to top). Martin Niemeoller was a leading Protestant pastor who was an outspoken critic of the Nazi Party and all it stood for. 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