Vasily Grossman Quotes

Enjoy the top 87 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Vasily Grossman.

Vasily Grossman Quotes

There was a cold wind out on the street. It picked up the dust, whirled it about and suddenly scattered it, flinging it down like black chaff. There was an implacable severity in the frost, in the branches that tapped together like bones, in the icy blue of the tram-lines.
— Vasily Grossman —

Good men and bad men alike are capable of weakness. The difference is simply that a bad man will be proud all his life of one good deed - while an honest man is hardly aware of his good acts, but remembers a single sin for years on end.

— Vasily Grossman

In the cruel and terrible time in which our generation has been condemned to live on this earth, we must never make peace with evil. We must never become indifferent to others or undemanding of ourselves.

— Vasily Grossman

There's nothing more difficult than saying goodbye to a house where you've suffered.

— Vasily Grossman

I don't want you to be young and beautiful. I only want one thing. I want you to be kind-hearted - and not just towards cats and dogs.

— Vasily Grossman

In great hearts the cruelty of life gives birth to good.

— Vasily Grossman

And it was not merely tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, but hundreds of millions of people who were the obedient witnesses of this slaughter of the innocent. Nor were they merely obedient witnesses: when ordered to, they gave their support to this slaughter, voting in favour of it amid a hubbub of voices. There was something unexpected in their degree of obedience ... The extreme violence of the totalitarian social systems proved able to paralyse the human spirit throughout whole continents.

— Vasily Grossman

A mountain had died, its skeleton had been scattered over the ground. Time had aged the mountain; time had killed the mountain-and here lay the mountain's bones.

— Vasily Grossman

When you think about new-born babies being killed in our own lifetime,' he said, 'all the efforts of culture seem worthless. What have people learned from all our Goethes and Bachs? To kill babies?

— Vasily Grossman

The nationalism of a small nation can, with treacherous ease, become detached from its roots in what is noble and human. It then become pitiful, making the nation appear smaller rather than greater. It is the same with nations as with individuals; while trying to draw attention to the inadequacies of others, people all too often reveal their own.

— Vasily Grossman

The more they talked and argued, the less they understood each other. In the end they fell silent, full of mutual contempt and hatred. And in this silence of the dumb and these speeches of the blind, in this medley of people bound together by the same grief, terror and hope, in this hatred and lack of understanding between men who spoke the same tongue, you could see much of the tragedy of the twentieth century.

— Vasily Grossman

In the blank wall of the world's indifference there had appeared a tiny snakelike fissure

— Vasily Grossman

What's really terrifying is when you realize that bureaucracy isn't simply a growth on the body of the State. If it were only that, it could be cut off. No, bureaucracy is the very essence of the State.

— Vasily Grossman

Chekhov said: let's put God - and all these grand progressive ideas - to one side. Let's begin with man; let's be kind and attentive to the individual man - whether he's a bishop, a peasant, an industrial magnate, a convict in the Sakhalin Islands, or a waiter in a restaurant. Let's begin with respect, compassion, and love for the individual - or we'll never get anywhere.

— Vasily Grossman

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