Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What is your duty to the world?

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.

(Martin Niemöller)
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!

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