Germans Quotes

Quotes tagged as "germans" (showing 1-30 of 32)
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

Markus Zusak
“The bittersweetness of uncertainty: To win or to lose.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Bertolt Brecht
“Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good.”
Bertolt Brecht

Christopher Hitchens
“As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy-derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name—the Haskalah—for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. (The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe.) However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Courtney Love
“[Kurt Cobain] had a lot of German in him. Some Irish. But no Jew. I think that if he had had a little Jew he would have [expletive] stuck it out.”
Courtney Love

Roman Payne
“I was glad to be made aware
that “Veimke” (jeune fille au pair),
is subject to natural law,
and can be made fat,
by such things as poor diet,
and alcohol.”
Roman Payne

Mark Twain
“A dog is der Hund the dog; a women is die Frau the wom[an]; a horse is das Pferd, the horse; now you put that dog in the Genitive case, & is he the same dog he was before? No sir; he is das Hundes; put him in the Dative case & what is he? Why, he is dem Hund. Now you snatch him into the accusative case & how is it with him? Why he is den Hunden? ... Read moreBut suppose he happens to be twins & you have to pluralize him – what then? Why sir they’ll swap that twin dog around thro’ the four cases till he’ll think he’s an entire International Dog Show all in his own person. I don’t like dogs, but I wouldn’t treat a dog like that. I wouldn’t even treat a borrowed dog that way.”
Mark Twain

Rob Grant
“What's it like?"
"Death? It's like being on holiday with a group of Germans.”
Rob Grant

Christopher Hitchens
“And thus to my final and most melancholy point: a great number of Stalin's enforcers and henchmen in Eastern Europe were Jews. And not just a great number, but a great proportion. The proportion was especially high in the secret police and 'security' departments, where no doubt revenge played its own part, as did the ideological attachment to Communism that was so strong among internationally minded Jews at that period: Jews like David Szmulevski. There were reasonably strong indigenous Communist forces in Czechoslovakia and East Germany, but in Hungary and Poland the Communists were a small minority and knew it, were dependent on the Red Army and aware of the fact, and were disproportionately Jewish and widely detested for that reason. Many of the penal labor camps constructed by the Nazis were later used as holding pens for German deportees by the Communists, and some of those who ran these grim places were Jewish. Nobody from Israel or the diaspora who goes to the East of Europe on a family-history fishing-trip should be unaware of the chance that they will find out both much less and much more than the package-tour had promised them. It's easy to say, with Albert Camus, 'neither victims nor executioners.' But real history is more pitiless even than you had been told it was.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Vladimir Nabokov
“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.”
Vladimir Nabokov

Ouida
“I only care for the subjective life; I am very German, you see: The woods interest me, and the world does not.”
Ouida, Wanda, Countess von Szalras.

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

Timur Vermes
“Germans today keep their waste more thoroughly separated than their races.”
Timur Vermes, Er ist wieder da

Vladimir Nabokov
“[D]avid began to argue, with the whining intonations of German astonishment, [...] that everyone did it.”
Vladimir Nabokov, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov

Erich Maria Remarque
“As far as I know, only the old Greeks had gods of drinking and the joy of life: Bacchus and Dionysus. Instead of that we have Freud, inferiority complexes and the psychoanalysis. We’re afraid of the too great words in love and not afraid of much too great words in politics. A sorry generation!”
Erich Maria Remarque, Arch of Triumph: A Novel of a Man Without a Country

Fern Schumer Chapman
“Most German perpetrators were never punished or rewarded for their behavior, but they had learned something about themselves. They know what they did or didn't do in the most morally fraught moment of their lives. They have seen themselves in extreme circumstances and, in that, they have seen their own extremes.”
Fern Schumer Chapman, Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust: A Mother-Daughter Journey to Reclaim the Past

Freda Utley
“What had been a region of model farming became almost a desert, for more than half the population was exiled or sent to concentration camps. The young people left the villages, the boys to go to the factories if they could get jobs, or to become vagabonds if they couldn’t.
***
An echo of the tragic fate of Russia’s German Protestant population reached the world when the Mennonites flocked to Moscow and sought permission to leave the country. Some of these Germans had tried to obey the government and had formed collective farms, only to have them liquidated as Kulak collectives. Being first-class farmers, they had committed the crime of making even a Kolkhoz productive and prosperous.
Others had quite simply been expropriated from their individual holdings. All were in despair. Few were allowed to leave Russia. They were sent to Siberia to die, or herded into slave labor concentration camps. The crime of being good farmers was unforgivable, and they must suffer for this sin.
***
Cheat or be cheated, bully or be bullied, was the law of life. Only the German minority with their strong religious and moral sense—the individual morality of the Protestant as opposed to the mass subservience demanded by the Greek Orthodox Church and the Soviet Government—retained their culture and even some courage under Stalin’s Terror.”
Freda Utley, Lost Illusion

Jack Lewis Baillot
“It was just Franz!”
“Just Franz?” Franz retorted, catching the last part as the window jerked free of the ice which held it to the window sill. “Since when did I become 'Just Franz'? I'm almost another member of your family!”
Japhet leaned on the frame, not caring when cold snow seeped into his sleeves. “That's when you became 'Just Franz',” he said. “Like Ruth is 'Just Ruth'. And you ruined my drawing. I hope you're happy.”
Jack Lewis Baillot, Brothers-in-Arms

Bette Greene
“My father chose acquiescence and life rather than resistance and death. Not a very admirable choice, but a very human one.”
Bette Greene, Summer of My German Soldier

Jerome K. Jerome
“The German citizen is a soldier, and the policeman is his officer. The policeman directs him where in the street to walk, and how fast to walk. At the end of each bridge stands a policeman to tell the German how to cross it. Were there no policeman there, he would probably sit down and wait till the river had passed by. At the railway station the policeman locks him up in the waiting-room, where he can do no harm to himself. When the proper time arrives, he fetches him out and hands him over to the guard of the train, who is only a policeman in another uniform. The guard tells him where to sit in the train, and when to get out, and sees that he does get out. In Germany you take no responsibility upon yourself whatever. Everything is done for you, and done well.”
Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men on the Bummel

Kate Atkinson
“So much for progress. How quickly civilization could dissolve into its more ugly elements.”
Kate Atkinson, Life After Life

Timur Vermes
“As I walked past I saw the extraordinary wreckage of beer-corpses. Somehow, despite all their economic mismanagement, these parties must have brought about an unexpected level of prosperity. Well, not having to wage war certainly saves the odd cost. Looking at the state of the Volk here, however, even the most deluded individual would have to admit than in 1942 or 1944, yes, even in the most harrowing nights of bombardment, the Germans were in better shape than on this September evening at the beginning of the third millennium.”
Timur Vermes, Er ist wieder da

Thomas Mann
“Bei einem Volk von der Art des unsrigen”, trug ich vor, “ist das Seelische immer das Primäre und eigentlich Motivierende; die politische Aktion ist zweiter Ordnung, Reflex, Ausdruck, Instrument.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus

Jack Lewis Baillot
“Are you murdering more eggs for breakfast?” Japhet raised his head as the sound of boiling water filled the small apartment.
“Don't insult my eggs, Buchanan.”
“You insulted my roasted chicken, Kappel, so I can insult your eggs all I want.”
Jack Lewis Baillot, Brothers-in-Arms

“The German stamp on Wisconsin endures in the state's commitment to efficient agriculture, hard work, education, culture, and to good citizenship and political freedom - all of which were an integral part of the German immigrant's language.”
Richard H. Zeitlin, Germans in Wisconsin

Sofia Samatar
“There is nothing, he tells me, more odious than a German. However, their women are seductive, and they make the world's most beautiful music. My employer sings me a German song. He sounds like a buffalo in distress. Afterward he makes me read to him from the Bible.”
Sofia Samatar, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2016

Ernst von Salomon
“I'm just a Boche," I thought to myself; "I'm a Boche and I always have been." At that time in France, I did everything that a Boche does, both those actions he performs deliberately, conscious and proud of his Bocheness, and those that he does when he is well-nigh falling over backward in his attempts not to be taken for what he is. When I returned home I wished to write a little book for Rohwohlt entitled: The Adventures of a Little Boche in France It never came to anything because quite quietly the little Boches had turned into big Boches, and from then on it was difficult for the little ones to prove that they weren't the big ones.”
Ernst von Salomon, Der Fragebogen

Hank Bracker
“Toys were at the bottom of my parents’ priority list, and “Money doesn’t grow on trees” was the mantra most frequently heard around the house. Most of the toys Bill and I had were hand-me-downs or gifts we received for Christmas, or on our birthday. I can pretty much remember every toy I ever got, but that’s just the way it was. I do not believe that the lack of toys indicated a lack of love, but rather indicated where my parents were financially. However, having said that, North Germans such as my parents tended to be cold by nature, which was in sharp contrast to the South Germans, who loved to sing, make love and dance. The North Germans tended to look down on the South Germans, considering them frivolous and lazy. It seemed to me that most of the people from North Germany were very clandestine and anyone outside of our circle was suspect, and considered to be Schmeir Hammel, a slimy, castrated ram. My brother and I were frequently reminded to keep to ourselves and not make friends. Above all, we were told that ein Vogel beschmutzt sein eigenes nest nicht, meaning that a bird does not dirty its own nest. What it really meant was that you don’t talk to others about what happens within the family!”
!”
Hank Bracker

Enock Maregesi
“Wajerumani, hata hivyo, wakati wa utawala wao waliruhusu Kiswahili kiwe lugha halisi ya taifa nchini Tanzania kwa vile hawakukiongea Kiingereza wala hawakukipenda. Ndiyo maana Kiswahili kinazungumzwa zaidi nchini Tanzania kuliko Kenya au Uganda.”
Enock Maregesi

“I have often thought that the Germans make the best Americans, though they certainly make the worst Germans.”
Karl Shapiro

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