Martin Niemöller Quotes
11 Sourced Quotes
I have never concealed the fact and said it before the court in 1938 that I came from an anti-Semitic past and tradition... I ask only that you look at my life historically and take it as history. I believe that from 1933 I truly represented the Lutheran-Christian outlook on the Jewish question — as I revealed before the court — but that I returned home after eight years' imprisonment as a completely different person.
In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist; and then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist; and then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew; and then…they came for me…and by that time there was no-one left to speak up.
The renunciation of war as expressed in the Japanese Constitution has given a first ray of hope to a world in darkness and despair, and men today cling to this hope passionately. Can we really do something about it or are we to stand aside as idle onlookers, unable to contribute for better or for worse?
I am now convinced that the Reformation of the church will come from the east. In the west there is no spiritual life. (I'm speaking of the Protestant church and not the Roman Catholic church.) We have civilisation and we try to keep up culture, but we have no spiritual life. The east has a spiritual life. They know that colour influences the spirit more than black lines. In Russia there is still the notion that art is nearer religion than thinking in lines and logic. All abstract rationalising needs to be filled out with sensual thinking and feelings. In Russia there is still a strong impression of colour.