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Quotes About Genocide

Quotes tagged as "genocide" (showing 1-30 of 85)
Elie Wiesel
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.”
Elie Wiesel

Chief Seattle
“My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain...There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory.”
Chief Seattle, The Chief Seattle's Speech

Bertolt Brecht
“The first time it was reported that our friends were being butchered there was a cry of horror. Then a hundred were butchered. But when a thousand were butchered and there was no end to the butchery, a blanket of silence spread.
When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out "stop!"

When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.”
Bertolt Brecht, Selected Poems

Noam Chomsky
“...the Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon.”
Noam Chomsky

Christopher Hitchens
“I once spoke to someone who had survived the genocide in Rwanda, and she said to me that there was now nobody left on the face of the earth, either friend or relative, who knew who she was. No one who remembered her girlhood and her early mischief and family lore; no sibling or boon companion who could tease her about that first romance; no lover or pal with whom to reminisce. All her birthdays, exam results, illnesses, friendships, kinships—gone. She went on living, but with a tabula rasa as her diary and calendar and notebook. I think of this every time I hear of the callow ambition to 'make a new start' or to be 'born again': Do those who talk this way truly wish for the slate to be wiped? Genocide means not just mass killing, to the level of extermination, but mass obliteration to the verge of extinction. You wish to have one more reflection on what it is to have been made the object of a 'clean' sweep? Try Vladimir Nabokov's microcosmic miniature story 'Signs and Symbols,' which is about angst and misery in general but also succeeds in placing it in what might be termed a starkly individual perspective. The album of the distraught family contains a faded study of Aunt Rosa, a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, cancerous growths—until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Mother Teresa
“If I look at the mass I will never act.”
Mother Teresa

Mike  Norton
“It is not what you can do for your country, but what you can do for all of mankind.”
Mike Norton

Elie Wiesel
“My faceless neighbor spoke up:

“Don’t be deluded. Hitler has made it clear that he will annihilate all Jews before the clock strikes twelve.”

I exploded:

“What do you care what he said? Would you want us to consider him a prophet?
His cold eyes stared at me. At last he said, wearily:

“I have more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He alone has kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people.”
Elie Wiesel, Night

Aung San Suu Kyi
“It is not power that corrupts but fear.”
Aung San Suu Kyi

Richard Weikart
“Darwinism by itself did not produce the Holocaust, but without Darwinism... neither Hitler nor his Nazi followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the worlds greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.”
Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany

Noam Chomsky
“Israel's demonstration of its military prowess in 1967 confirmed its status as a 'strategic asset,' as did its moves to prevent Syrian intervention in Jordan in 1970 in support of the PLO. Under the Nixon doctrine, Israel and Iran were to be 'the guardians of the Gulf,' and after the fall of the Shah, Israel's perceived role was enhanced. Meanwhile, Israel has provided subsidiary services elsewhere, including Latin America, where direct US support for the most murderous regimes has been impeded by Congress. While there has been internal debate and some fluctuation in US policy, much exaggerated in discussion here, it has been generally true that US support for Israel's militarization and expansion reflected the estimate of its power in the region.

The effect has been to turn Israel into a militarized state completely dependent on US aid, willing to undertake tasks that few can endure, such as participation in Guatemalan genocide. For Israel, this is a moral disaster and will eventually become a physical disaster as well. For the Palestinians and many others, it has been a catastrophe, as it may sooner or later be for the entire world, with the growing danger of superpower confrontation.”
Noam Chomsky

John Rucyahana
“We are preaching hope, standing on the bones of the past.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

“I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream...”
Nicholas Black Elk

Rick Warren
“In all my travels, I've never seen a country's population more determined to forgive, and to build and succeed than in Rwanda.”
Rick Warren, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

Iain Pears
“When all this is over, people will try to blame the Germans alone, and the Germans will try to blame the Nazis alone, and the Nazis will try to blame Hitler alone. They will make him bear the sins of the world. But it's not true. You suspected what was happening, and so did I. It was already too late over a year ago. I caused a reporter to lose his job because you told me to. He was deported. The day I did that I made my little contribution to civilization, the only one that matters.”
Iain Pears, The Dream of Scipio

John Rucyahana
“I knew that to really minister to Rwanda's needs meant working toward reconciliation in the prisons, in the churches, and in the cities and villages throughout the country. It meant feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, caring for the young, but it also meant healing the wounded and forgiving the unforgivable.

I knew I had to be committed to preaching a transforming message to the people of Rwanda. Jesus did not die for people to be religious. He died so that we might believe in Him and be transformed. I'm engaged in a purpose and strategy that Jesus came to Earth for. My life is set for that divine purpose in Jesus Christ. I was called to that--proclaiming the message of transformation through Jesus Christ.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

Philip Gourevitch
“Genocide, after all, is an exercise in community building.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families

Tim Wise
“And in "Elbow Room" the cast sings the glories of westward expansion in the United States, which involved the murder of native peoples and the violent conquest of half of Mexico. Among the lines in the song is one that intones, "There were plenty of fights / To win land right / But the West was meant to be / It was our Manifest Destiny?" Let it suffice to say that happily belting out a tune in which one merrily praises genocide is always easier for those whose ancestors weren't on the receiving end of the deal.”
Tim Wise, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son

Toba Beta
“If human is capable of conducting genocide,
no need for an asteroid to wipe out dinosaurs.”
Toba Beta

“I do detest the human race as a whole, but some groups are more deserving than others,”
James D. Sass, Essays in Satanism

“In Rwanda, one person's God is another person's Satan

-Thérèse Nyirabayovu”
Karl Maier, Into the House of the Ancestors: Inside the New Africa

Jared Diamond
“The history of interactions among disparate peoples is what shaped the modern world through conquest, epidemics and genocide. Those collisions created reverberations that have still not died down after many centuries, and that are actively continuing in some of the world's most troubled areas.”
Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Christopher Hitchens
“So, whenever the subject of Iraq came up, as it did keep on doing through the Clinton years, I had no excuse for not knowing the following things: I knew that its one-party, one-leader state machine was modeled on the precedents of both National Socialism and Stalinism, to say nothing of Al Capone. I knew that its police force was searching for psychopathic killers and sadistic serial murderers, not in order to arrest them but to employ them. I knew that its vast patrimony of oil wealth, far from being 'nationalized,' had been privatized for the use of one family, and was being squandered on hideous ostentation at home and militarism abroad. (Post-Kuwait inspections by the United Nations had uncovered a huge nuclear-reactor site that had not even been known about by the international community.) I had seen with my own eyes the evidence of a serious breach of the Genocide Convention on Iraqi soil, and I had also seen with my own eyes the evidence that it had been carried out in part with the use of weapons of mass destruction. I was, if you like, the prisoner of this knowledge. I certainly did not have the option of un-knowing it.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

“If you believe Might is Right, it follows that whoever cannot hold their ground does not deserve to keep it.”
James D. Sass, Essays in Satanism

Christopher Hitchens
“The little boats cannot make much difference to the welfare of Gaza either way, since the materials being shipped are in such negligible quantity. The chief significance of the enterprise is therefore symbolic. And the symbolism, when examined even cursorily, doesn't seem too adorable. The intended beneficiary of the stunt is a ruling group with close ties to two of the most retrograde dictatorships in the Middle East, each of which has recently been up to its elbows in the blood of its own civilians. The same group also manages to maintain warm relations with, or at the very least to make cordial remarks about, both Hezbollah and al-Qaida. Meanwhile, a document that was once accurately described as a 'warrant for genocide' forms part of the declared political platform of the aforesaid group. There is something about this that fails to pass a smell test.”
Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
“What people still do not like to admit is that there were two crimes in the form of one. Just as the destruction of Jewry was the necessary condition for the rise and expansion of Nazism, so the ethnic cleansing of Germans was a precondition for the Stalinization of Poland. I first noticed this point when reading an essay by the late Ernest Gellner, who at the end of the war had warned Eastern Europeans that collective punishment of Germans would put them under Stalin's tutelage indefinitely. They would always feel the guilty need for an ally against potential German revenge.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

John Rucyahana
“...The typhoon of madness that swept through the country [of Rwanda] between April 7 and the third week of May accounted for 80 percent of the victims of the genocide.

That means about eight hundred thousand people were murdered during those six weeks, making the daily killing rate at least five times that of the Nazi death camps. The simple peasants of Rwanda, with their machetes, clubs, and sticks with nails, had killed at a faster rate than the Nazi death machine with its gas chambers, mass ovens, and firing squads. In my opinion, the killing frenzy of the Rwandan genocide shared a vital common thread with the technological efficiency of the Nazi genocide--satanic hate in abundance was at the core of both.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

“Out of kindness, we stopped the predators, and the deer herd expanded until it starved. Out of compassion we taught the primitives hygiene, and their death rate plummeted, their population exploded, and then famine. Out of empathy we sent food and taught them to live with other tribes under the same government. Again their population doubled, and famine set in with genocide. The scale of suffering had only been magnified by the hubris of liberals trying to do good.”
― Perry Lorenz

“At the end of this journey, it seems to me that reconciling the long shadows cast by the uneasy past may ultimately depend on elements so basic that they bring to mind a simple Slav proverb I once came across and never forgot: Eat bread and salt and speak the truth. They are the recovery of fact, public accountability and the instituting of fair trials of one sort or another, to help mark ends and beginnings and to return the moral compass as close to the centre as possible.”
Erna Paris, Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History

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