“First They Came for the Drunks…”

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on March 15th, 2005

In the previous post I talked about the dangers of ignoring the erosion of constitutional rights in DUI cases. I ended by paraphrasing a vaguely remembered quote from the past, "First they came for the drunks, but I was not a drunk so I did not speak up…". After receiving a surprising number of inquiries concerning the actual quote, I was able to locate it:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out– because I was not a communist;

Then 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 out for me. -Pastor Martin Niemöller, Germany, 1945

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