UC Santa Barbara > History Department > Faculty > Prof. Marcuse > Projects > Niemöller Quotation > Images page
USHMM poster

"First they came for the ..."
Images Page

Pictures of the Niemöller Quotation

page compiled by Harold Marcuse
(professor of German history at UC Santa Barbara)
Harold Marcuse homepage

created October 29, 2007, updated 11/18/09

Introduction (back to top)

  • When I first created my page about the 1997 Poster of Niemoller quotationfamous Martin Niemöller quotation beginning "First they came for the ..." I found an image on the website of the Monmouth, New Jersey County Human Relations Commission, which I used in the page header. They had posted it as part of their 10th anniversary celebration in December 2000.
  • In April 2007 Jack Cohen-Joppa, co-editor of the Nuclear Resister, wrote the following:
    "I suspected I'd seen that particular graphic before, as a postcard published by the Syracuse Cultural Workers and looked up to be reminded that indeed, it's on the wall as a poster above our computer desk, same background, slightly altered text format, and the fine print reading:
    'Poster #p456CW [copyright] 1997 Background artwork adapted from painting by Nicholas M. Welych. Notecard and postcard available. Syracuse Cultural Workers, p.o. box 6367, Syracuse, NY 13217 USA'."

    It turns out that the Syracuse Cultural Workers still sell postcards, posters and bookmarks with the quotation, but no longer the one I found on the Monmouth site. Rather, their version comes from a 2005 poster created by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. In Oct. 2007 it was not available at the USHMM online museum shop
  • $14/17 poster; $2.50 notecard at Syracuse site (11/09: thanks to them for the updated link)
  • So I decided to make a separate page displaying some of the images I've found on-line.

1951 Berlin Niemoller poster
  • 1951 West German peace movement poster displayed by the Berlin German Historical Museum (DHM)'s Niemoller page:
    Herausgegeben vom Magistrat von GrossßBerlin
    Martin Niemöller: "Während des Faschismus hat sich die Kirche schuldig gemacht, weil sie eine schweigende Kirche war. Sie muss jetzt alles tun, um ihre Anhänger für den Frieden zu gewinnen."
  • The quotation translates as:
    "During fascism the church made itself guilty because it was a silent church. Now it has to do everything to win its constituents for peace."
ca. 1984 Niemoller poster
  • 1980s West German peace movement poster displayed by the Berlin German Historical Museum (DHM)'s Niemoller page:
    Plakat des Komittes für Frieden, Abrüstung und Zusammenarbeit
    Martin Niemöller: "Wer den Frieden will, muss mit dem Gegner gemeinsam leben wollen. Wir müssen Vertrauen wagen. Darum Schluss mit dem Rüsten."
  • The quotation translates as:
    "Whoever wants peace must want to live together with their enemies. We have to risk trust. That's why the arms race must end."
1995 Boston: First They came for...
  • Version at the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, dedicated in October 1995.
  • NEHM Niemoller page
  • Communists
    Trade Unionists
    Catholics (Boston is a very Catholic city!)
1997 poster "First they came for"
"First they came for" 2002 in San Francisco
  • from a sign carried at a 2002 peace rally in San Francisco
  • Jews
    Trade Unionists
2002: First They came for
  • From a July 2002 posting on RumorMillNews.com
  • (By the way, just because someone said a version of the quotation during a debate in the US congress, does not make it "original" or "correct.")
  • I have no idea where the rumormill author obtained this photomontage with a Hitler Youth in the background
  • Jews
    Trade Unionists
2002 with Nazi youth
  • From a Feb. 1, 2003 peace rally in Palo Alto, California: painted on a sheet and tied to a bush
  • photo page
  • from this 2007 Silcon Valley Green Party pictures page, it looks like the sheet was used again, and made by Carol
  • Communists, Jews, Trade Unionists, Catholics, me
2003: German version
200x Products for Progressives, with rose
  • Poster available at the NorthernSun.com website: "Products for Progressives"
  • Communists
    Trade Unionists
2005 pink Triangle version
2005 "First they came for"
Sept. 11, 2005 version in Santa Cruz, in pink
2006' The Price of Silence poster
  • ca. 2006 "Price of Silence" poster available at the ProgressivePortal.org Posters page for $19 (including shipping)
  • I date this to 2006 because that was the year major debates about immigration into the US began
  • Immigrants
    Teenaged Mothers
    Gays & Lesbians
    Jew, elderly, radicals, farmers, "disabled," trade unionists, poor, artists

2006 Spanish cartoon
Cuando los nazis vinieron a buscar a los comunistas,guardé silencio, porque yo no era comunista.

Cuando encarcelaron a los socialdemócratas, guardé silencio,
porque yo no era socialdemócrata.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, no protesté,
porque yo no era sindicalista
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, no protesté,
porque yo no era judío.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme,
no había nadie más que pudiera protestar.
  • Nov. 2006 Spanish variation in a cartoon from a blog
  • The blog also has a Spanish translation directly from the German
    "Me lavaron el cerebro con la telebasura ...
    Me hicieron infinitos contratos precarios ...
    Me pagaban un sueldo de miseria...
    Me obligaban a cumplir jornadas de 14 horas...
    Me impidieron tener una vivienda...

    Me obligaron a no poder formar una familia...
    Me mintieron diciéndome que 'no hay futuro' ...
    Consentí cosas como esto de Guantánamo ..."

    They washed my brain with junk TV...
    They forced me to sign unending difficult contracts...
    They paid me a starvation wage...
    They forced to me to work 14 hour days...
    They prevented me from having a house...
    They kept me unable to have a family...
    They lied to me saying 'there is no future' ...
    I agree to things like those at Guantanamo...

  • Communists
    Social Democrats
    Trade Unionists
2006' The Price of Silence poster
  • before 2009 version by the Syracuse Cultural Workers , available laminated & framed for $14-$17.
  • Communists
    Trade Unionists

page created by Harold Marcuse on October 29, 2007; last update: see page header
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