Atrocities Quotes

Quotes tagged as "atrocities" Showing 1-30 of 32
Voltaire
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”
Voltaire, Questions sur les Miracles à M. Claparede, Professeur de Théologie à Genève, par un Proposant: Ou Extrait de Diverses Lettres de M. de Voltaire

Criss Jami
“I'm convinced that most men don't know what they believe, rather, they only know what they wish to believe. How many people blame God for man's atrocities, but wouldn't dream of imprisoning a mother for her son's crime?”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Judith Lewis Herman
“The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.

Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims.

The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom.

The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Amy Goodman
“I really do think that if for one week in the United States we saw the true face of war, we saw people's limbs sheared off, we saw kids blown apart, for one week, war would be eradicated. Instead, what we see in the U.S. media is the video war game. ”
Amy Goodman

Lisa J. Shannon
“I don't know how to stop the atrocities. I don't know how to make people care. But looking into my sister's eyes, we seem to have carved out something between us that none of the madness can touch. Invisible threads.”
Lisa Shannon, A Thousand Sisters: My Journey Into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman

Judith Lewis Herman
“Psychological trauma is an affliction of the powerless. At the moment of trauma, the victim is rendered helpless by overwhelming force. When the force is that of nature, we speak of disasters. When the force is that of other human beings, we speak of atrocities. Traumatic events overwhelm the ordinary systems of care that give people a sense of control, connection, and meaning.… Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life.… They confront human beings with the extremities of helplessness and terror, and evoke the responses of catastrophe.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Piero Scaruffi
“Scientists and inventors of the USA (especially in the so-called "blue state" that voted overwhelmingly against Trump) have to think long and hard whether they want to continue research that will help their government remain the world's superpower. All the scientists who worked in and for Germany in the 1930s lived to regret that they directly helped a sociopath like Hitler harm millions of people. Let us not repeat the same mistakes over and over again.”
Piero Scaruffi

Damon Knight
“It is true that all of us are the beneficiaries of crimes committed by our ancestors, and it is true that nothing can be done about that now because the victims are dead and the survivors are innocent. These are good reasons for keeping our mouths shut about the past: but tell me, what are our reasons for silence about atrocities still to come?”
Damon Knight, One Side Laughing: Stories Unlike Other Stories

Thomas Paine
“The character of Moses, as stated in the Bible, is the most horrid that can be imagined. If those accounts be true, he was the wretch that first began and carried on wars on the score or on the pretence of religion; and under that mask, or that infatuation, committed the most unexampled atrocities that are to be found in the history of any nation. Of which I will state only one instance:

When the Jewish army returned from one of their plundering and murdering excursions, the account goes on as follows (Numbers xxxi. 13): 'And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp; and Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle; and Moses said unto them, 'Have ye saved all the women alive?' behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. Now therefore, 'kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him; but all the women- children that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for Yourselves.'

Among the detestable villains that in any period of the world have disgraced the name of man, it is impossible to find a greater than Moses, if this account be true. Here is an order to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers, and debauch the daughters.

Let any mother put herself in the situation of those mothers, one child murdered, another destined to violation, and herself in the hands of an executioner: let any daughter put herself in the situation of those daughters, destined as a prey to the murderers of a mother and a brother, and what will be their feelings?

In short, the matters contained in this chapter, as well as in many other parts of the Bible, are too horrid for humanity to read, or for decency to hear.”
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

David Berlinski
“Just who has imposed on the suffering human race poison gas, barbed wire, high explosives, experiments in eugenics, the formula for zyklon b, heavy artillery, pseudo-scientific justifications for mass murder, cluster bombs, attack submarines, napalm, intercontinental missiles , military space platforms and nuclear weapons? If memory serves it was not the Vatican.”
David Berlinski, The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

Judith Lewis Herman
“People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory and fragmented manner.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Voltaire
“People will continue to commit atrocities as long as they believe in absurdities.”
Voltaire

Paula Marantz Cohen
“It is in our nature to enjoy atrocity so long as it continues to shock and remains comfortably removed from our own lives.”
Paula Marantz Cohen, What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James & Jack the Ripper

Judith Lewis Herman
“This book appears at a time when public discussion of the common atrocities of sexual and domestic life has been made possible by the women’s movement, and when public discussion of the common atrocities of political life has been made possible by the movement for human rights. I expect the book to be controversial—first, because it is written from a feminist perspective; second, because it challenges established diagnostic concepts; but third and perhaps most importantly, because it speaks about horrible things, things that no one really wants to hear about.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Edmund de Waal
“I do not know where Viktor and Rudolf were taken. I cannot find the records. I never Elisabeth or Iggie.

It is possible that they were taken to the Hotel Metropole, which has been sequestered as the headquarters of the Gestapo. There are many other lock-ups for this flood of Jews. They are beaten, of course; but they are also forbidden to shave or wash so that they look even more degenerate. This because it is important to address the old affront of Jews not looking like Jews. This processing of stripping away your respectability, taking away your watch-chain, or your shoes or your belt, so that you stumble to hold up your trousers with one hand, is a way of returning everyone to the shtetl, stripping you back to your essential character - wandering, unshaven, bowed with your possessions on your back. You are supposed to end up looking like a cartoon from Der Stuermer, Streicher's tabloid that is now sold on the streets of Vienna. They take away your reading glasses.”
Edmund de Waal, The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss

“Legend has it that while drinking wine in a boat on the river, [8th century Chinese poet Li Po] tried to grab the moon's reflection on the surface and tumbled in, which is probably the poet's equivalent of dying bravely in battle.”
Matthew White, Atrocities: The 100 Deadliest Episodes in Human History

Svetlana Alexievich
“«Tomamos una aldea... Buscábamos agua. Entramos en un patio donde habíamos divisado un pozo con cigoñal. Un pozo artesanal, tallado a mano... En el patio yacía el dueño de la casa, fusilado... A su lado estaba sentado su perro. Nos vio y comenzó a gañir. Tardamos en comprender que nos estaba llamando. El perro nos llevó a la casa. En la puerta hallamos a la mujer y a tres niños...
»El perro se sentó y lloró. Lloró de verdad. Como lloran los humanos...»”
Svetlana Alexievich, War's Unwomanly Face

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
“There was no more reasonable sequitur between “provocation” and “reaction” in the case of the French Revolution than in the case of the Jews and the Nazis, the Armenians and the young Turks, the old Russian regime, the Kerensky interlude and bolshevism, Portuguese colonial rule in Angola and the horrors perpetrated by savage monsters of Holden Roberto’s “Liberation Front,” the Belgian administration in the Congo and the delirious atrocities of Gbenye and Mulele, British colonialism in Kenya and the Mau-Mau. We have to face the fact that man is not “good”—only the extraordinary man is, only the heroic saint or the saintly hero, while the noble savage belongs to the world of fairy tales.”
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism Revisited: from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot

M.T. Anderson
“When we read tales of atrocity, we all want to be the ones who stood firm, who would not bend, who shouted the truth in the face of the dictator ... It is easy for us all to imagine we are heroes when we are sitting in our kitchens, dreaming of distant suffering.”
M.T. Anderson, Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad

“Atrocities in our world, they left deep scars in our hearts.”
Sir Kristian Goldmund Aumann

Jonathan Glover
“Atrocities are easier to commit if respect for the victim can be neutralized. For this reason, humiliation handed out by those with power can be ominous. The link between humiliation and atrocity is often found.”
Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century

Christina Engela
“As a human rights activist it is concerning to me that those committing atrocities against vulnerable people view these atrocities as 'progress', and assert with pride and conviction that they are 'Christians' and that they are doing 'God's will'.”
Christina Engela, The Time Saving Agency

Voltaire
“As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities.”
Voltaire

Angela Carter
“For Sade, all tenderness is false, a deceit, a trap; all pleasure contains within itself the seeds of atrocities; all beds are minefields.”
Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography

Vincent Okay Nwachukwu
“It is bizarre that people should commit atrocities in the name of their god. Such ones’ medulla oblong 'commonsense' is submerged in ecclesiastical balderdash.”
Vincent Okay Nwachukwu, Weighty 'n' Worthy African Proverbs - Volume 1

“We donot qualify as humans going by our acts, but we surely prove through our vulnerability and sufferings!” ”
Ramana Pemmaraju

Stewart Stafford
“People will come to test and divide us, but, as long as we keep compassion in our hearts for others, they won't win.”
Stewart Stafford

John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
“Do not open your minds to the filtering of the fallacious doctrine that it is less infamous to murder men for their politics than for their religion or their money, or that the courage to execute the deed is worse than the cowardice to excuse it. Let us not flinch from condemning without respite or remission, not only Marat and Carrier, but also Barnave. Because there may be hanging matter in the lives of illustrious men, of William the Silent and Farnese, of Cromwell and Napoleon, we are not to be turned from justice towards the actions, and still more the thoughts, of those whom we are about to study.”
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, Lectures on the French Revolution

Catherine Nixey
“If any locals had seen the dark-robed group as they moved through the darkness they might well have felt the stirrings of fear. Monks – anonymous, rootless, untraceable – were able to commit atrocities with near impunity. ‘Our angels’ some Christians called them. Rubbish, said non-Christians. They were not angels but ignorant, boorish thugs, men in appearance only who ‘led the lives of swine, and openly did and allowed countless unspeakable crimes’. As the author Eunapius wrote with sardonic distaste: ‘in those days every man who wore a black robe and consented to behave in unseemly fashion in public, possessed the power of a tyrant, to such a pitch of virtue had the human race advanced!’ Even a wholeheartedly Christian emperor mutedly observed that ‘the monks commit many crimes’. And on that night, these monks were about to commit another. Shenoute’s target was not, this time, one of his monks but one of the wicked, godless pagans. In sermon after furious sermon Shenoute had turned his famously fiery prose on these people. Their hearts were ‘the nests of the spirits of wickedness’. If disturbed then these evil people would spit out poison. The Bible, Shenoute told his congregants, said that those who set up pagan images should be killed. As he put it in one particularly vigorous sermon, God wished His people to ‘remove the abominations from His presence’. The emperors, Shenoute thundered, had declared that the entire earth must be cleansed of perversions. No stone was to be left on top of any other stone of any pagan temple. Not one. In the entire earth.”
Catherine Nixey, The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

Abhijit Naskar
“Be a valiant shield to stand against atrocities.
If not you, who else will call that duty mine”
Abhijit Naskar, Mad About Humans: World Maker's Almanac

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