Analysis of WWII Poetry

By Brent Schiess

Nazi Victim by Pastor Martin Niemöller

Nazi Victim


They came for the communists,
and I did not speak up
because I wasn't a communist;

They came for the socialists,
and I did not speak up
because I was not a socialist;

They came for the union leaders,
and I did not speak up
because I wasn't a union leader;

They came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up
because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one
left to speak up for me ....

Title

This title makes me think that this poem is about WWII and concentration camp.
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Paraphrase

1st stanza

i was not a communist so i didn't care.

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2nd Stanza

I was not a socialist so i didn't care.

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3rd Stanza

i was not a Union Leader so i didn't care.
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4th stanza

i was not a Jew so i didn't care

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5th Stanza

I was alone with no one to help me

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Connotation

The connotation of this poem is that there were groups speaking out against Hitler and Nazism. When these people spoke out against they were rounded up and taken away, and most were killed.
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Attitude of Speaker

The first four stanza had an attidue of denial and he didn't care. But in the last stanza he had a sense of betrayal and loneliness
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Shifts

The shift is between the fourth and fifth stanza. It is a shift from denial to sadness and loneliness
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Title Revision

I still believe that the title means the same thing.
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Themes

The theme of this poem is to always stand up for what's right or speak up for people that are being persecuted.
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