Germany Quotes


I..." He struggled to answer. "When everything was quiet, I went up to the corridor and the curtain in the livingroom was open just a crack... I could see outside. I watched, only for a few seconds." He had not seen the outside world for twenty-two months.
There was no anger or reproach.
It was Papa who spoke.
How did it look?"
Max lifted his head, with great sorrow and great astonishment. "There were stars," he said. "They burned by eyes.

Germany    Stars    Wwii

[
Said during a debate when his opponent asserted that atheism and belief in evolution lead to Nazism
:]
Atheism by itself is, of course, not a moral position or a political one of any kind; it simply is the refusal to believe in a supernatural dimension. For you to say of Nazism that it was the implementation of the work of
Charles Darwin
is a filthy slander, undeserving of you and an insult to this audience.
Darwin
’s thought was not taught in Germany;
Darwinism
was so derided in Germany along with every other form of unbelief that all the great modern atheists,
Darwin
,
Einstein
and
Freud
were alike despised by the National Socialist regime.
Now, just to take the most notorious of the 20th century totalitarianisms – the most finished example, the most perfected one, the most ruthless and refined one: that of National Socialism, the one that fortunately allowed the escape of all these great atheists, thinkers and many others, to the United States, a country of separation of church and state, that gave them welcome – if it’s an atheistic regime, then how come that in the first chapter of
Mein Kampf
, that
Hitler
says that he’s doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making
Hitler
into a minor god, begins, I swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer? How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system?
Again, this is not a difference of emphasis between us. To suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won't hear said and you shouldn't believe.

My 'morals' were sound, even a bit puritanic, but when a hidebound old deacon inveighed against dancing I rebelled. By the time of graduation I was still a 'believer' in orthodox religion, but had strong questions which were encouraged at Harvard. In Germany I became a freethinker and when I came to teach at an orthodox Methodist Negro school I was soon regarded with suspicion, especially when I refused to lead the students in public prayer. When I became head of a department at Atlanta, the engagement was held up because again I balked at leading in prayer. I refused to teach Sunday school. When Archdeacon Henry Phillips, my last rector, died, I flatly refused again to join any church or sign any church creed. From my 30th year on I have increasingly regarded the church as an institution which defended such evils as slavery, color caste, exploitation of labor and war.
I think the greatest gift of the Soviet Union to modern civilization was the dethronement of the clergy and the refusal to let religion be taught in the public schools
.

Atheist    Atlanta    Civilization    Clergy    Creed    Deacon    Evil    Exploitation    Freethinker    Germany    Harvard    Morals    Orthodox    Orthodox religion    Public prayer    Public school    Puritanic    Questions    Rebel    Slavery    Soviet union    Ussr    War

I like trains. I like their rhythm, and I like the freedom of being suspended between two places, all anxieties of purpose taken care of: for this moment I know where I am going.

Anna funder    Anxiety    Calm    Freedom    Gdr    Germany    Purpose    Rhymn    Trains

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.

Night

Elie Wiesel's five-year-old grandson

Night
Death    Genocide    Germany    History    Hitler    Holocaust    Jews

Kropp on the other hand is a thinker. He proposes that a declaration of war should be a kind of popular festival with entrance-tickets and bands, like a bull fight. Then in the arena the ministers and generals of the two countries, dressed in bathing-drawers and armed with clubs, can have it out on themselves. Whoever survives the country wins. That would be much simpler and more than just this arrangement, where the wrong people do the fighting

All Quiet on the Western Front

Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front

I wish Italy would stop being a crybaby. I wish he would kick his bad habit of wanting to eat pasta everywhere. I wish he would stop getting a stomachache every time he ate geleto. I wish he would learn to throw a grenade properly. I wish his older brother would stop trying to punch me. I wish-"
*babble babble babble*
"Germany . . . That's impossible . . .

Babbling    Dying    Germany    Imposible    Italy    Stars    Wishing

We should never forget that everything Adolph Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighers did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany.

Birmingham    Germany    Hitler    Hungary    Jews    Peace    Prison    World war 2    World war ii

So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the
bar
or
bat mitzvah
of a friend's child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an
Einsteinian
and a
Shakespearean
and a
Spinozist
, who had married
Arthur Miller
to
Marilyn Monroe
and had a copy of Marilyn’s conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in
Victor
and Annie Navasky's front room, with
David Rieff
and
Steve Wasserman
as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge, and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the
shul
if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India, and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and 'normality' are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: 'Hitch, I find that I am a little envious of you.' I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence, and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that 'security' and 'normality,' rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.

Poor old Germany. Too big for Europe, too small for the world

I remember learning German - so beautiful, so strange - at school in Australia on the other side of the earth. My family was nonplussed about me learning such an odd, ugly language and, though of course too sophisticated to say it, the language of the enemy. But I liked the sticklebrick nature of it, building long supple words by putting short ones together. Things could be brought into being that had no name in English - Weltanschauung, Schadenfreude, sippenhaft, Sonderweg, Scheissfreundlichkeit, Vergangenheitsbewältigung.

[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.

Ethnicity    Germans    Germany    Ireland    Irish    Jews    Judaism

Betrayal clearly has its own reward: the small deep human satisfaction of having one up on someone else. It is the psychology of the mistress, and this regime used it as fuel.

Betray    Betrayal    Gdr    Germany    Informer    Mistress    Politics    Security state    Traitor

... We had suddenly learned to see. And we saw that there was nothing of their world left. We were all at once terribly alone; and alone we must see it through.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front
Germany    War    Wwi

Der Deutsche fährt nicht wie andere Menschen. Er fährt, um recht zu haben.

You wouldn't hurt a virgin, would you? Where do you think they get virgin olive oil, huh? Don't you think we're pathetic enough as it is?

Once, [Rabbi Chanoch] Teller was traveling with 16 of his [18] offspring ... while changing planes in Frankfurt, Teller noticed a German woman gaping.
'Are all of these your children?' the woman asked. 'From one wife?'
'Yes, God has blessed me with all these children,' the rabbi replied.
'Haven't you heard about the population problem?'the woman sniffed. 'How many more children do you want to have?'
Rabbi Teller paused and looked the woman in the eye: 'About 6 million,' he said.

Children    Germany    Inspirational    Jews    Life    Nazis    Rabbis

The Germans sell chemical weapons to Iran and Iraq. The wounded are then sent to Germany to be treated. Veritable human guinea pigs.

Persepolis

Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis
Chemical    Germany    Iran    Iraq    P122    Persepolis    Satrapi    Weapons

Fairy tales for adult readers remained popular throughout Europe well into the 19th century — particularly in Germany, where the Brothers Grimm published their massive collection of German fairy tales (revised and edited to reflect the Brothers’ patriotic and patriarchal ideals), providing inpiration for novelists, poets, and playrights among the German Romantics. Recently, fairy tale scholars have re–discovered the enormous body of work produced by women writers associated with the German Romantics: Grisela von Arnim, Sophie Tieck Bernhardi, Karoline von Günderrode, Julie Berger, and Sophie Albrecht, to name just a few.

If you invest all your energy in economics, world commerce, parliamentarianism, military engagements, power and power politics, -if you take the quantum of intelligence, seriousness, will, and self-overcoming that you embody and expend it all in this one direction, there there won't be any left for the other direction. Culture and the state - let us be honest with ourselves - these are adversaries.

I felt so much pride, so much love. You get a handful of days like this in a lifetime. Take in every minute. They’ll be over soon enough, and you never know what tomorrow will bring.

9 11    9 11 01    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

We have no quarrel with the German nation,
One would not quarrel with a flock of sheep.
But, generation after generation,
They throw up leaders who disturb our sleep.

(Thinking while being interrogated by the Germans) You big shots think you can decide on my life, but I have news for you: you can't touch a hair on my head without the will of God my Father, because He is on my side.

Dutch    Germany    God    Holocaust    Jesus christ    Prison    Righteous    Wwii

At one stopover on the train journey home, Hans told his sister Inge later, he saw a young girl with the Star of David on her breast; she was repairing tracks on the line, along with other people with yellow badges on their clothes. Her face was pallid, sunken in; her eyes, beyond grief and terror. Impulsively, Hans thrust his rations in her hand. She looked up at him, then at his uniform. She threw the packet of food to the ground.
He scooped it up, wiped off the dust, and picked a daisy growing by the side of the tracks. He placed the package, with the daisy on top, at her feet. He said, "I would have liked to give you a little pleasure." He boarded the train.
When he looked back, the girl was standing there, watching the train disappear, the flower in her hair.

Germans grew reluctant to stay in communal ski lodges, fearing they might talk in their sleep. They postponed surgeries because of the lip-loosening effects of anesthetic. Dreams reflected the ambient anxiety. One German dreamed that an SA man came to his home and opened the door to his oven, which then repeated every negative remark the household had made against the government.

Dreams    Fear    Germany    Nazis    Paranoia    Tension

France is to me the heroine in the romance of all the nations of all time. This feeling was born in me years ago when I read how her noble sons had defended America in its cradle. Today I am proud that I am one of the millions who will come to save our heroine from the clutches of the villain from across the Rhine.

There are more good people than bad people, and overall there’s more that’s good in the world than there is that’s bad. We just need to hear about it, we just need to see it.

As far as I know, the question of whether and how it could be strategically or morally justified was never the subject of open debate in Germany after 1945, no doubt mainly because a nation which had murdered and worked to death millions of people in its camps could hardly call on the victorious powers to explain the military and political logic that dictated the destruction of the German cities.

At the sight of the Neckar slopes wreathed with flowering cherry trees, I had a strong sense of having come home. What a beautiful country it was, and eminently worth our blood and our lives. Never before had I felt its charm so clearly. I had good and serious thoughts, and for the first time I sensed that this war was more than just a great adventure.
p. 33

In Stahlgewittern

Ernst Jünger

In Stahlgewittern

An appeal to fear never finds an echo in German hearts.

All my life my dad felt this need to protect his kids from a war he fought, a war I believed could never reach out and touch us, could never hurt us—and yet he fed us lies with his answers, shielding us from the truth about what he did there, about what he saw, about who he was before the war, and about what he became because of it. He lied to protect us from his memories, from his nightmares. Standing with my dad at The Wall, I knew the truth—no one could know so many names engraved in granite if he 'never was in danger.

9 11    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

You don't always get what you wish for. Especially in Nazi Germany

Germany    Nazis    Wishes

You know, sometimes I don't understand what's wrong with us. This is just about the most creative and imaginative country on earth—and yet sometimes we just don't seem to have the gumption to exploit our intellectual property. We split the atom, and now we have to get French or Korean scientists to help us build nuclear power stations. We perfected the finest cars on earth—and now Rolls-Royce is in the hands of the Germans. Whatever we invent, from the jet engine to the internet, we find that someone else carts it off and makes a killing from it elsewhere.

The sepia tone of November has become blood-soaked with paper poppies festooning the lapels of our politicians, newsreaders and business leaders … I will no longer allow my obligation as a veteran to remember those who died in the great wars to be co-opted by current or former politicians to justify our folly in Iraq, our morally dubious war on terror and our elimination of one’s right to privacy.

I’m clinging to one last thought: pain is the harbinger of hope. You have to be alive to feel pain. If you are alive, then you have purpose. If you have purpose, then you have hope.

9 11    9 11 01    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

A son for a flag is a lot of sacrifice.

9 11    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

I stand there and wonder whether, when I am twenty, I shall have experienced the bewildering emotions of love.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front
Germany    Love    Wwi

I have this thought, it’s horrible, and it makes me sick, but it’s true: one day these students will grow up and have their own kids, and they’re going to name them for men and women who will die in this war.

9 11    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

Miriam is upset. Her voice is stretched and I can't look at her. Perhaps they beat something out of her she didn't get back.

Beat    Beating    Gdr    Germany    Goverment    Phsyical abuse    Ptsd    Security state    Survivor    Trauma    Traumatic

These handkerchief gardens are a traditional German solution to apartment dwellers' yearning for a tool shed and a vegetable garden. They make a patchwork of green in odd corners of urban land, along train lines or canals or, as here, in the lee of the Wall.

I felt like I should salute. If only I knew how.

9 11    9 11 01    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

Teaching isn’t rocket science. It’s about being engaged, listening, paying attention. Despite conventional wisdom, you don’t need to talk a lot to teach well. You do need to care, though. Not so much about what people think of you or whether or not they like you, but about the kids and doing what’s best for them.

9 11    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

Their eyes met; neither would forget.

The meeting began well, meaning it had the potential for being short.

9 11    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

This is my worst fear. It’s not keeping my students safe from terrorists, it’s knowing what to do when the Chaplain comes to take Johnny out of class because not letting the terrorists win means sometimes the good guys are going to die. And those good guys have kids, and they’re sitting in my classroom.

9 11    9 11 01    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

I needed to talk to my dad. My dad who had been to war, who had seen its horrors, who suffered from its nightmares, my dad who was a good man, the best man I’d ever known, who, along with my uncle, I wanted to honor by teaching military kids—my dad, the only one who I would believe if he would just tell me I could be good, too, that I could do right by my students, because for sure they were going to suffer. It’s just cause and effect. We’re at war. The military fights wars. I teach military kids. I’d never served, but now I could make a difference. I just needed my dad to tell me what to do, to tell me I was good enough to get it done.

9 11    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

I’m in my classroom and I’m looking at this girl, but all I can see is my dad on the ground, in front of The Wall, telling the truth, finally—his knees drawn and his chest heaving—and when people pass by they look the other way, except for this one lady who stops to give my dad a hug. She gets down on her knees to reach him, and now she’s crying with a stranger, and without asking I know it’s because she’s lost something, too, and I wonder if in comforting my dad she thinks she can find it again. Probably not. It doesn’t work that way.

We all lose people. We all have to live in the aftermath. It’s how we move forward that counts, but sometimes we are tethered to something in our past that won’t let us move forward.

9 11    Afghanistan    Dodds    Education    Germany    Iraq    Korea    Military    Terrorism    Tucker elliot

In Berlin, I worked from home, were the only other women sat sedately on my bookshelves. They were good company, it has to be said, but a little quiet.

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