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വായന

15 November, 2007

Lest we forget

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

These words of Rev. Martin Niemoller (1892-1984), often quoted by human rights defenders, tell the story of the Germany of the 1930s. Niemoller, whom the Nazis arrested in 1938, wrote these words on his release at the end of World War II. They remain valid today, mutatis mutandis.