Voice from the past

I’ve been looking for this untitled free verse since the ERAP 5 abduction bit public consciousness. For those who have been instinctively groping for the same poem in light of current events, here it is courtesy of www.everything2.com.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

–Pastor Niemöller

Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

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  • Sis!
    I loved that poem. That reminds me not to hesitate to take a stand when I have to.

    I ‘ve latest on my blogsite.


  • sheila

    I hate it when a person doesn’t speak his mind and doesn’t make a stand.

    I remember World Youth Day 1995 – We must sometimes go against the Current.

    As always, your writings inspires me and reminds me of my principles. c”,)

  • This piece is beautiful…and thought-provoking in every sense of the word. 🙂

  • Toots check this out. Mukha ngang trade unionist ka at hindi taong simbahan. This is another version, maybe the “authoritative one” – http://www.hoboes.com/html/FireBlade/Politics/niemoller.shtml

  • pete,

    thanks for the link. i stand corrected. tama yung author, there are many versions of this poem, perhaps according to the user’s background and special interests. still, i find it evocative and particularly meaningful in light of our times.

    best regards,