First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
My English II A-day class had a really interesting discussion today, reminding me of the above quote from this German pastor. It got me thinking about what is really the responsibility of a regular person in speaking up against injustice to society. For this reason, I assigned some questions:
- What do you think Niemöller’s purpose was for writing and speaking these lines throughout his life after the war?
- Do you think that everyone in Germany was partly responsible for the Nazi’s rise to power, or that only those active in the Nazi Party were responsible? Explain your answer.
- How much responsibility do you feel for what takes place around you: in your family, in your school, in your city,
in your country,and in the world? List at least three responsibilities you feel for each level.
Please blog these before next class!