Dec. 22 – Matthew Hockenos – Then They Came for Me [Advent Calendar]

The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2018
Advent Calendar
December 22

 

Then They Came for Me:
Martin Niemöller, the Pastor Who Defied the Nazis

Matthew Hockenos

Hardback: Basic Books, 2018
Buy Now: [  Amazon ]  [ Kindle
 

Encountering this man with “an imperfect moral compass” allows us to re-examine our own moral imaginations: how we fashion heroes for ourselves, and how easily we lose their human story—and arguably, aspects of our own—in our quest to make them heroes. The book’s subtitle trumpets Niemöller as “the pastor who defied the Nazis”—and he did, at least enough so to merit their persecution. But his defiance was not, nor could be, salvific. His triumphs were as humanly finite and morally tangled as he was—as we are. Our persistent hunger for glittering images prevents us from seeing how we, ordinary mortals with blind spots, with capacities for grave complicity and banal evil, must make our way in a complicated world. Like Niemöller, we also have no alibi.

  • From our review by Laura Fabrycky
    in our Advent 2018 magazine issue
    SUBSCRIBE NOW to the magazine)

 
 

Check out a photo essay that
Laura Fabrycky did on Martin Niemoller’s Berlin…

 
 



 

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