"First They Came for the Communists"

The poem by Martin Niemoller, a German pastor who opposed Hitler yet survived concentration camps, was written in response to the question: "How could it happen?"

Here are all the word lists to support the reading of Grade 8 Unit 3's texts from SpringBoard's Common Core ELA series: Night, First They Came for the Communists, Terrible Things, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Diary of a Young Girl, Elie Wiesel Speech, Do Something!, Wangari Maathai, Freerice.com, Public Service Announcements, Famine as a Weapon
Read more...

Start learning with an activity...

  • Practice

    Answer a few questions on each word. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. Use it to prep for your next quiz!
  • Spelling Bee

    Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly. Beat your last streak, or best your overall time. Spellers of the world, untie!
  • Vocabulary Jam

    Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly. Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join!

Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. Nazi
    a German member of Adolf Hitler's political party
    When the Nazis came for the communists
  2. remain
    continue in a place, position, or situation
    I remained silent
  3. communist
    a socialist in favor of collectivism in a classless society
    I was not a communist.
  4. social democracy
    the belief in a gradual transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means
    When they locked up the social democrats
  5. silent
    failing to speak or communicate etc when expected to
    I remained silent
  6. trade union
    an organization of employees formed to bargain with the employer
    When they came for the trade unionists
  7. speak out
    express one's opinion openly and without fear or hesitation
    I did not speak out
  8. Jew
    member of a community whose traditional religion is Judaism
    When they came for the Jews,
    I did not speak out
  9. left
    not used up
    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.
Created on December 15, 2014 (updated September 15, 2015)

Sign up now (it’s free!)

Whether you’re a teacher or a learner, Vocabulary.com can put you or your class on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.