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Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor in Germany when the Second World War began. He is immortalized for being the one who said, “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.”

 

He was arrested multiple times for his outspoken criticisms of the Nazis’ racist policies and spent the entire conflict detained at various concentration camps. During his confinement, the prison chaplain came to visit Rev. Niemöller and asked him, “What brings you here? Why are you in prison?”

 

Knowing this chaplain had let his ideology hinder his theology, Niemöller replied angrily, “And, brother, why are you not in prison?”

 

One Christian was standing on his faith. The other was hiding in fear.

 

What are you doing?

 

 

Resource’s Origin:
Romans: Righteousness from Heaven by R. Kent Hughes. Crossway, 1991.

 

 

Topics Illustrated Include:
Courage
Evil
Fear
Holocaust
Injustice
Pastor
Preacher
Preaching
Prison
Prisoner
Racism
World War II

 

 

(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)