Quotes About Auschwitz

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Quotes About Auschwitz

In fact, the question has haunted me for a long time: Does life have meaning after Auschwitz? In a universe cursed because it is guilty, is hope still possible? For a young survivor whose knowledge of life and death surpasses that of his elders, wouldnt suicide be as great a temptation as love or faith?
— Elie Wiesel —

Auschwitz is outside of us, but it is all around us, in the air. The plague has died away, but the infection still lingers and it would be foolish to deny it. Rejection of human solidarity, obtuse and cynical indifference to the suffering of others, abdication of the intellect and of moral sense to the principle of authority, and above all, at the root of everything, a sweeping tide of cowardice, a colossal cowardice which masks itself as warring virtue, love of country and faith in an idea.

— Primo Levi

[F]or me, being a Jew means feeling the tragedy of yesterday as an inner oppression. On my left forearm I bear the Auschwitz number; it reads more briefly than the Pentateuch or the Talmud and yet provides more thorough information. It is also more binding than basic formulas of Jewish existence. If to myself and the world, including the religious and nationally minded Jews, who do not regard me as one of their own, I say: I am a Jew, then I mean by that those realities and possibilities that are summed up in the Auschwitz number.

— Jean Améry

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

Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they're only animals.

— Theodor W. Adorno

Blessed be God's name? Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled. Because He caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves? Because he kept six crematoria working day and night, including Sabbath and the Holy Days? Because in His great might, He had created Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buna, and so many other factories of death? How could I say to Him: Blessed be Thou, Almighty, Master of the Universe, who chose us among all nations to be tortured day and night, to watch as our fathers, our mothers, our brothers, end up in the furnaces? Praised be Thy Holy Name, for having chosen us to be slaughtered on Thine altar?

— Elie Wiesel

In fact, the question has haunted me for a long time: Does life have meaning after Auschwitz? In a universe cursed because it is guilty, is hope still possible? For a young survivor whose knowledge of life and death surpasses that of his elders, wouldn't suicide be as great a temptation as love or faith?

— Elie Wiesel

If you are a denier, get on the right side of history and stop being so gullible. Remember, it has been historically and scientifically proven, in a court of law no less, that more than 1.2 million Jews, along with 20,000 gypsies and tens of thousands of Polish and Russian political prisoners, were killed at Auschwitz alone. Beyond that, Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names has collected 4.5 million Jewish victims' names (and counting) from various archival sources. How much more evidence could you possibly want?

— James Morcan

The Holocaust survivor who knows Auschwitz through the experience of suffering observes it all from the perspective assigned to him. He keeps silent or gives interviews to the Spielberg Foundation, he accepts the compensation payments promised him after a fifty-year delay, or, if he is prominent, he makes a speech in the Swedish Academy.

— Imre Kertesz

And yet it may happen in these most desperate trials of our human existence that beyond any rational explanation, we may feel a nail-scarred Hand clutching ours. We are able, as Etty Hillesun, the Dutch Jewess who died in Auschwitz on November 30, 1943, wrote, "to safeguard that little piece of God in ourselves" and not give way to despair. We make it through the night and darkness gives way to the light of morning. The tragedy radically alters the direction of our lives, but in our vulnerability and defenselessness we experience the power of Jesus in His present risenness. -Abba's Child

— Brennan Manning

I'd tried to straighten him out, but there's only so much you can do for a person who thinks Auschwitz is a brand of beer.

— David Sedaris

I was 15, not 14, when I was inside there [Auschwitz], 15, and for me both were actually a surprise.

— Elie Wiesel

I remember those faces of people who were good I saw that. I saw a father who gave his bread to his son and his son gave back the bread to his father. That, to me, was such a defeat of the enemies, will of the enemies, theories of the enemies, aspirations, here [in Auschwitz].

— Elie Wiesel

Genocide is like a dessert. It is made of the flesh and bones of woman and children, it is sweetened with the blood of the innocent, and it is baked in the ovens of Auschwitz. There were truths to be learnt and there was wisdom to be gained ... but there was a price to to be paid as well. You could not brush up against the future and escape unscathed. You could not see into the forbidden and avoid damage to your sight.

— Terry Brooks

What I've learned about comedy people is that they're defined by the harshest level they've been to, their personal Auschwitz.

— Bob Saget

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