Quotes About Concentration Camps

Quotes tagged as "concentration-camps" (showing 1-19 of 19)
Viktor E. Frankl
“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth-that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which a man can aspire.

Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of human is through love and in love.

I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for the brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when a man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way-an honorable way-in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment.

For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words,"The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning

Alan Gratz
“I shook with helplessness and rage, but also with fear. This was what fighting back earned you. More abuse. More death. Half a dozen Jews would be murdered today because one man refused to die without a fight. To fight back was to die quickly and to take others with you.

This was why prisoners went meekly to their deaths. I had been so resolved to fight back, but I knew then that I wouldn't. To suffer quietly hurt only you. To suffer loudly, violently, angrily--to fight back--was to bring hurt and pain and death to others.”
Alan Gratz, Prisoner B-3087

Art Spiegelman
“I'm not talking about YOUR book now, but look at how many books have already been written about the Holocaust. What's the point? People haven't changed... Maybe they need a newer, bigger Holocaust.”
Art Spiegelman

Alan Gratz
“I had survived the work gangs in the ghetto. Baked bread under cover of night. Hidden in a pigeon coop. Had a midnight bar mitzvah in the basement of an abandoned building. I had watched my parents be taken away to their deaths, had avoided Amon Goeth and his dogs, had survived the salt mines of Wieliczka and the sick games of Trzebinia. I had done so much to live, and now, here, the Nazis were going to take all that away with their furnace!

I started to cry, the first tears I had shed since Moshe died. Why had I worked so hard to survive if it was always going to end like this? If I had known, I wouldn't have bothered. I would have let them kill me back in the ghetto. It would have been easier that way. All that I had done was for nothing.”
Alan Gratz, Prisoner B-3087

Erich Maria Remarque
“A crude age. Peace is stabilized with cannon and bombers, humanity with concentration camps and pogroms. We're living in a time when all standards are turned upside-down, Kern. Today the aggressor is the shepherd of peace, and the beaten and hunted are the troublemakers of the world. What's more, there are whole races who believe it!”
Erich Maria Remarque, Flotsam: A Novel of World War II

“Isolation of catastrophic experiences. Dissociation may function to seal off overwhelming trauma into a compartmentalized area of conscious until the person is better able to integrate it into mainstream consciousness. The function of dissociation is particularly common in survivors of combat, political torture, or natural or transportation disasters.”
Marlene Steinberg

J.G. Ballard
“To his surprise he felt a moment of regret, of sadness that his quest for his mother and father would soon be over. As long as he searched for them he was prepared to be hungry and ill, but now that the search had ended he felt saddened by the memory of all he had been through, and of how much he had changed. He was closer now to the ruined battlefields and this fly-infested truck, to the nine sweet potatoes in the sack below the driver's seat, even in a sense to the detention center, than he would ever be again to his house in Amherst Avenue.”
J.G. Ballard, Empire of the Sun

“Most white Americans were willing to sacrifice civil liberties in the name of national security as long as they were the civil liberties of someone else.”
Neil Nakadate, Looking After Minidoka: An American Memoir

Phillip Adams
“I became aware of Jews in my early teens, as I started to pick up the signals from the Christian church. Not that I was Christian – I’d been an atheist since I was five. But my father, a Congregational minister, had some sympathy with the idea that the Jews had killed Christ. But any indoctrination was offset by my discovery of the concentration camps, of the Final Solution. Whilst the term 'Holocaust' had yet to enter the vocabulary I was overwhelmed by my realisation of what Germany had perpetrated on Jews. It became a major factor in my movement towards the political left. I’d already read 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck, the Penguin paperback that would change my life. The story of the gas chambers completed the process of radicalisation and would, just three years later, lead me to join the Communist Party.”
Phillip Adams

Glenn Meade
“I am reminded of the query made about man's inhumanity to man in the concentration camps. The question was asked: At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?

And the answer came: Where was man?

For it was men alone who did this evil. Not God or religion or men acting in the name of God or religion. But simply men.”
Glenn Meade, The Last Witness

Mary Ann Shaffer
“The crematorium could not burn the bodies fast enough - so after we dug long trenches, we pulled and dragged the bodies to the edges and threw them in. You'll not believe it, but the SS forced the prisoners' band to play music as we lugged the corpses - and for that, I hope they burn in hell with polkas blaring.”
Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Viktor E. Frankl
“He main retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp. Dostoevsky said once, 'There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings'.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

“On Good Friday last year the SS found some pretext to punish 60 priests with an hour on "the tree." That is the mildest camp punishment. They tie a man's hands together behind his back, palms facing out and fingers pointing backward. Then they turn his hands inwards, tie a chain around his wrists and hoist him up by it. His own wight twists his joints and pulls them apart...Several of the priest who were hung up last year never recovered and died. If you don't have a strong heart, you don't survive it. Many have a permanently crippled hand.”
Jean Bernard, Priestblock 25487: a Memoir of Dachau

“The first days of January 1942 brought enormous amounts of snow. The reader already knows what snow meant for the clergy. But this time the torture surpassed the bounds of the endurable. At the same time the thermometer hovered between 5 and 15 degrees below zero. From morning till night we scraped, shoveled, and pushed wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of snow to the brook. The work detail consisted of more than 1,000 clergymen, forced to keep moving by SS men and Capos who kicked us and beat us with truncheons.

We had to make rounds with the wheelbarrows from the assembly square to the brook and back. Not a moment of rest was allowed, and much of the time we were forced to run.

At one point I tripped over my barrow and fell, and it took me a while to get up again. An SS man dashed over and ordered me to turn with the full load. He ran beside me, beating me constantly with a leather strap. When I got to the brook I was not allowed to dump out the heavy snow, but had to make a second complete round with it instead.

When the guard finally went off and I tried to let go of the wheelbarrow, I found that one of my hands was frozen fast to it. I had to blow on it with warm breath to get it free.”
Jean Bernard, Priestblock 25487: a Memoir of Dachau

Marcus Brotherton
“...I was there when we opened the gates. Some of these poor wretches running out were so emaciated they actually died from the excitement of being liberated. I saw it happen several times.

These people in the camps – they were like walking skeletons. You could see all their bones.

The gates opened and the people ran out yelling, "I'm free! I'm free!" And some of them died right there. I was horrified to see what the SS had done to these people.

- Roy Gates”
Marcus Brotherton, We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Where an open war is impossible, oppression can continue quietly behind the scenes. Terrorism. Guerrilla warfare, violence, prisons, concentration camps. I ask you: Is this peace?

The true antipode of peace is violence. And those who want peace in the world should remove not only war from the world but also violence. If there is no open war but there is still violence, that is not peace.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Warning to the West

Allan Dare Pearce
“Some days in the camp you prayed to live; some days you prayed to die quick. Some days you didn't bother praying, knowing there was no sense to anything.”
Allan Dare Pearce, Hitler Burns Detroit

Wolfgang Sofsky
“The greatest proof of power is the mass grave, the camp as a field of the dead. However, total power here cancels itself. Death is the absolute antisocial fact. For that reason, the absolute power to kill can never become total. In order to escape this dilemma, it constantly searches out new victims, defining new groups of opponents. Everyone is on terror's proscription list - extended to its logical conclusion, all of humankind.”
Wolfgang Sofsky

“Comrades, we are going to try to cheer you up, and our sense of humor will help us in this endeavor, although the phrase gallows humor has never seemed so logical and appropriate. The external circumstances are exactly in our favor. We need only to take a look at the barbed wire fences, so high and full of electricity. Just like your expectations.
And then there are the watchtowers that monitor our every move. The guards have machine guns. But machine guns won’t intimidate us, comrades. They just have barrels of guns, whereas we are going to have barrels of laughs.
You may be surprised at how upbeat and cheerful we are. Well, comrades, there are goods reasons for this. It’s been a long time since we were in Berlin. But every time we appeared there, we felt very uneasy. We were afraid we’d get sent to the concentration camps. Now that fear is gone. We’re already here.”
Rudolph Herzog, Dead Funny: Humor in Hitler's Germany

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