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free speech

February 15, 2009


Why is Free Speech so important?…

Why speak up about things that don’t seem to affect you?
Perhaps Pastor Martin Neimoller’s view in one version of his quote will answer that question.
He supported the Nazis until he realized, too late, what they were really about and was sent to Dachau concentration camp. 
He was one of the fortunate to be freed and live until 1984.

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.


Then they came for the Social Democrats,
 and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Social Democrat.


Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
 and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.


Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew,

Then they came for me,
 and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

 

this version thanks to information researched at Liverpool Community College (which page has since been taken down) and by University of California Santa Barbara Professor Harold Marcuse who continues to update his pages with further research results.  This version is similar to the one I remember seeing when I was in middle school and it never left me.
I hope it never will.

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