1938 – The Nazi trial of pastor Martin Niemoller, an outspoken critic of Hitler’s regime, ends. He will spend seven years in prisons and concentration camps.
Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984) was a German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor. He is best known for his statement, „First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist …… and there was no one left to speak for me.”
He was a national conservative and initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler, but he became one of the founders of the Confessional Church, which opposed the nazification of German Protestant churches. He vehemently opposed the Nazis’ Aryan Paragraph, but made remarks about Jews that some scholars have called antisemitic.
For his opposition to the Nazis’ state control of the churches, Niemöller was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1937 to 1945. He narrowly escaped execution and survived imprisonment. After his imprisonment, he expressed his deep regret about not having done enough to help the victims of the Nazis.