“…and I did not speak out…”

These are words famously lectured by Martin Niemöller in the years following WWII. He was a German Protestant pastor and was sent to concentration camps until 1945, for speaking out against the rising forces that eventually created the Holocaust. His lectures impressed upon people the importance of speaking out.

Martin Niemöller, a prominent Protestant pastor who opposed the Nazi regime. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. Germany, 1937.

Martin Niemöller, a prominent Protestant pastor who opposed the Nazi regime. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. This 1937 photo was shot in Germany, prior to his imprisonment.

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.

 <<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>

This applied then to the Holocaust, just as it applies with Whistleblowers today.

Speaking out saves lives, prevents damages, and best serves the Public interest.

…so, please — SPEAK OUT

[link to USHMM webpage on Niemöller]
[link to wikiquotes article on Niemöller]

 

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