Joseph Wresinski’s Address

Text available in german, portuguese.

Joseph Wresinski’s Address October 17, 1987 Human rights Plaza, Paris.

You, the millions and millions
of children, women and fathers
who have died from misery and hunger
and whose legacy we hold.
It is not your death
that I evoke, today
on this Plaza
of Human Rights and Liberties.
I bear witness to your lives.

I bear witness to you, the mothers,
whose children are cast aside in this world,
condemned as they are to sheer misery.

I bear witness to your children,
twisted by the pains of hunger,
no longer able to smile,
yet still yearning to love.

I bear witness to the millions of young people
who have no reason to _ believe or even to exist,
and who vainly search for a future
in this senseless world.

I bear witness to you, the poor of all times,
still poor today,
forever on the road,
fleeing from place to place, despised and disgraced.

Labourers without a trade,
ever crushed by their toil.
Labourers whose hands, today,
are no longer useful.

Millions of men, women, and children
whose hearts are still pounding strong
to the beat of the struggle,
whose minds rise in revolt against the unjust fate
imposed upon them,
whose courage demands the right
to priceless dignity.

I bear witness to you,
children, women and men,
who do not want to condemn,
but to love, to pray, to work, and to unite,
so that a world of solidarity may be born.
A world, our world,
in which all people would have given the best of themselves
before dying.

I bear witness to you,
men, women and children.
Your renown is henceforth engraved
by heart, hand and tool,
in the marble of this Plaza of Human Rights and Liberties.
I bear witness to you, so that humanity may at last
fulfil its true destiny,
refusing forever
that misery prevail.