Auschwitz Quotes

Quotes tagged as "auschwitz" Showing 1-30 of 69
Primo Levi
“Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite.”
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz

William Styron
Someday I will understand Auschwitz. This was a brave statement but innocently absurd. No one will ever understand Auschwitz. What I might have set down with more accuracy would have been: Someday I will write about Sophie's life and death, and thereby help demonstrate how absolute evil is never extinguished from the world. Auschwitz itself remains inexplicable. The most profound statement yet made about Auschwitz was not a statement at all, but a response.

The query: "At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?"

And the answer: "Where was man?”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice

W.H. Auden
“Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot. The reality is so horrible it is not surprising that people should have found it a stumbling block to faith.”
W.H. Auden

Joel C. Rosenberg
“The question shouldn't be "Why are you, a Christian, here in a death camp, condemned for trying to save Jews?' The real question is "Why aren't all the Christians here?”
Joel C. Rosenberg, The Auschwitz Escape

Jacob Bronowski
“It's said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That's false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken."

I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.”
Jacob Bronowski

Viktor E. Frankl
“So, let us be alert--alert in a twofold sense.

Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of.

And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.”
Victor E Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Theodor W. Adorno
“It would be advisable to think of progress in the crudest, most basic terms: that no one should go hungry anymore, that there should be no more torture, no more Auschwitz. Only then will the idea of progress be free from lies.”
Theodor W. Adorno

Primo Levi
“We must be listened to: above and beyond our personal experience, we have collectively witnessed a fundamental unexpected event, fundamental precisely because unexpected, not foreseen by anyone. It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. It can happen, and it can happen everywhere.”
Primo Levi

Viktor E. Frankl
“Sigmund Freud once asserted, "Let one attempt to expose a number of the most diverse people uniformly to hunger. With the increase of the imperative urge of hunger all individual differences will blur, and in their stead will appear the uniform expression of the one unstilled urge." Thank heaven, Sigmund Freud was spared knowing the concentration camps from the inside. His subjects lay on a couch designed in the plush style of Victorian culture, not in the filth of Auschwitz. There, the "individual differences" did not "blur" but, on the contrary, people became more different; people unmasked themselves, both the swine and the saints.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Antonio Iturbe
“Brave people are not the ones who aren't afraid. Those are reckless people who ignore the risk; they put themselves and others in danger. That's not the sort of person I want on my team. I need the ones who know the risk-- whose legs shake, but carry on.”
Antonio Iturbe, La bibliotecaria de Auschwitz

William Styron
“At Dachau. We had a wonderful pool for the garrison children. It was even heated. But that was before we were transferred. Dachau was ever so much nicer than Auschwitz. But then, it was in the Reich. See my trophies there. The one in the middle, the big one. That was presented to me by the Reich Youth Leader himself, Baldur von Schirach. Let me show you my scrapbook.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice

Elie Wiesel
“You are in a concentration camp. In Auschwitz..."

A pause. He was observing the effect his words had produced. His face remains in my memory to this day. A tall man, in his thirties, crime written all over his forehead and his gaze. He looked at us as one would a pack of leprous dogs clinging to life.

"Remember," he went on. "Remember it always, let it be graven in your memories. You are in Auschwitz. And Auschwitz is not a convalescent home. It is a concentration camp. Here, you must work. If you don't you will go straight to the chimney. Work or crematorium--the choice is yours.”
Elie Wiesel, Night

Johann Baptist Metz
“Očevidno je da ne postoji nikakav smisao povijesti koji bi se dao spasiti leđima okrenutim prema Auschwitzu niti postoji Bog kojemu se čovjek može klanjati leđa okrenutih prema Auschwitzu. Kao teološko-politička katastrofa Auschwitz ne ostavlja pošteđenima niti kršćanstvo i njegovu teologiju niti društvo i njegovu politiku.”
Johann Baptist Metz, Memoria passionis: Ein provozierendes Gedächtnis in pluralistischer Gesellschaft

Antonio Iturbe
“E adevărat: cultura nu este necesară pentru supraviețuirea omului, necesare sunt doar pâinea și apa. Este adevărat că omul supraviețuiește dacă are pâine să mănânce și apă să bea, dar mulțumindu-se doar cu atât moare întreaga omenire.”
Antonio G. Iturbe, La bibliotecaria de Auschwitz

Antonio Iturbe
“O persoană care te așteaptă undeva este o lumânare care se aprinde într-un câmp pe timpul nopții. Poate că nu reușește să lumineze întregul întuneric, dar îți arată drumul de întoarcere acasă.”
Antonio G. Iturbe, La bibliotecaria de Auschwitz

Antonio Iturbe
“A începe să citești o carte este ca și cum te-ai urca într-un tren care te duce în vacanță.”
Antonio G. Iturbe, La bibliotecaria de Auschwitz

Primo Levi
“Să distrugi omul e greu, aproape tot atât de greu cât să-l creezi: n-a fost uşor, n-a durat puţin, dar voi, hitleriştii, aţi reuşit s-o faceţi. Iată-ne docili sub privirile voastre: din partea noastră nu mai aveţi de ce vă teme, nu vor mai fi acte de revoltă, nici cuvinte de sfidare şi nici măcar o privire de condamnare.”
Primo Levi

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“A najgorszą skazą jest to, że jesteśmy najzwyczajniej w świecie głupi. Przyznajcie to! Czy sądzicie, że Auschwitz był dowodem inteligencji? „”
Kurt Vonnegut

“He [Ray] was working in a tool-and-die factory in Brooklyn, but before that had drifted around, had been employed at the Studebaker plant in South Bend and also at an Omaha slaughterhouse on the kill floor. Once I asked him what that was like. "You ever heard of Auschwitz?”
Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One

Georges Didi-Huberman
“If Auschwitz is unthinkable, then we must rethink the bases of our anthropology (Hannah Arendt). If Auschwitz is unsayable, then we must rethink the bases of testimony (Primo Levi). If Auschwitz is unimaginable, we must give the same attention to an image as we do to what witnesses say.”
Georges Didi-Huberman

“Furia si ura sunt semintele care germineaza razboi. Iertarea este samanta pacii. Este actul suprem al autovindecarii.”
Eva Mozes Kor, Lisa Rojany Buccieri, Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz

Peter Weiss
“Chiedi al Bunkerjakob
che controllava tutto
Come fai a resistere
Lui disse
Sia lode a quanto
rende duri
Io sto bene
mangio le razioni
di quelli là dentro
La loro morte non mi tocca
Tutto questo mi tocca
quanto può toccarmi
la pietra di questo muro”
Peter Weiss, The Investigation

“One thing at least is certain about work: it is not freedom.”
Marty Rubin

“The camp [Auschwitz] had already developed nicknames for those on the edge of starvation: cripples, derelicts, jewels, but the most common was "Musselmänner," or "Muslims," seemingly in reference to how they rocked back and forth in their weakness as if in prayer.”
Jack Fairweather, The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who Infiltrated Auschwitz

Zygmunt Bauman
“Wie bei den Leichen, die man in den Krematorien von Auschwitz und Treblinka verbrannt hat, benötigt man auch hierfür keinen zusätzlichen Brennstoff; ständig schwelende Wut entzündet sich immer wieder neu an sich selbst.”
Zygmunt Bauman, Retrotopia

Art was not a cultural frivolity to the inmates of Auschwitz; it
literally kept their spirits alive. It was self-expression in the
teeth of the annihilation of the self. It was an expresison of the
the need to retain psychological coherance in a malebolent ambience
whose essential purpose was the destruction of the psyche of its
inahabitants. The words 'I am' written on a wall are the epitaph of
someone about to die....Picasso said that 'painting is an instrument
of war to be waged against brutality and darkness.”
Joseph p. Czarnecki

Imre Kertész
“Na Auschwitz is het overbodig over de menselijke natuur te oordelen.”
Imre Kertész, Dossier K: A Memoir

Ka-tzetnik 135633
“Geh zurück in dein eigenes Leben, und schau nicht zurück. Ich möchte nicht, dass du Schaden nimmst. Da, Lungen atmen Gaskammerdämpfe. Da, Liebe schreit in der Nacht aus den Kehlen der Krematoriumschlote. Da, der Wind trägt die Asche verbrannter Beine mit sich, Beine die einst so lang und anmutig waren wie deine; Asche von einem Körper wie deinem, geschmeidig und eben erblüht; die Asche eines Gesichts wie des deinen, von Lippen wie deinen. Nur der Blick dieser Augen, leuchtend wie der Glanz deiner Augen, schwebt hier noch unverbrannt. Wie willst du diese Luft atmen?”
Ka-Tzetnik 135633

“It is not so easy to move on when your sleep is full of nightmarish memories.”
Eva Mozes Kor, I Will Protect You: A True Story of Twins Who Survived Auschwitz

Laura Hatosy
“I've always thought this place was hell," Gideon said as he led me away. "But it's just the waiting room.”
Laura Hatosy, Drawn from Memory

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