Best 161 of World war ii quotes - MyQuotes
I can’t recite the chronology or elaborate on the facts. I can’t explain the reasons or defend how we lived our lives. What I can tell you is how the events of 1933 sowed the seeds that fundamentally changed our future, that there was little hand-wringing or emotion, that circumstances were beyond control, that there was no recourse or appeal. I can tell you that events were incremental, that the unbelievable became the believable and, ultimately, the normal. Ralph Webster, A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other
It was not,' said Jutta, reaching the limits of her French, 'very easy to be good then.
What you don’t know going in is that when you come out, you will be scarred for life. Whether you were in for a week, a month, or a year—even if you come home without a scratch—you are never, ever going to be the same. When I went in, I was eighteen. I thought it was all glory and you win lots of medals. You think you’re going to be the guy. Then you find out the cost is very great. Especially when you don’t see the kids you were with when you went in. Living with it can be hell. It’s like the devil presides in you. I knew what I sighed up for, yes, and I would do it again. But the reality of war—words can’t begin to describe it.
They were our enemies. Yet in those young men of Italy I'd seen something centuries old. An American is only as old as his years. A long line of something was hidden behind the bright eyes of those Italians. And then and there I decided to learn something of the modern world. There was something abroad which we Americans couldn't or wouldn't understand. But unless we made some attempt to realize that everyone in the world isn't American, and that not everything American is good, we'll all perish together, and in this twentieth century....
Teresa R. Funke
We make the things that matter, matter.
Whenever a soldier needed an escape, the antidote to anxiety, relief from boredom, a bit of laughter, inspiration, or hope, he cracked open a book and drank in the words that would transport him elsewhere.
Muchos de los oficiales que habían tomado parte en la Gran Guerra habían ido ascendiendo automáticamente sin que hubiesen vuelto a preocuparse de las evoluciones que el arte militar hubiese podido experimentar en los últimos veinte años.
Captain Hank Bracker
As with millions of others, Adeline Perry and her two young daughters endured the horrors of the Second World War in NAZI Germany. Following her death and armed with her manuscript, Captain Hank Bracker and his wife Ursula, Adeline’s youngest daughter, followed in Adeline’s footsteps to better understand the ordeal she experienced. Realizing that this book was the only way that her story could be preserved, Captain Hank took on the task of recording it. Ursula’s brother-in-law and stepsister, Peter Klett and his wife Jutta drove them to many of the places described in this book including Bischoffsheim, Strasbourg and Rosheim, in what was known as Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen during World War II and which is now recognized as the administrative territory of Alsace-Moselle, France. He found the still existing bunker in Feudenheim and talked to people in Mannheim, Überlingen and Bischoffsheim who still remembered some of the details of the incidents in this book. Ursula’s sister Brigitte wrote her own manuscripts which helped fill in some previously unknown facts. “Suppressed I Rise” is an insight into how individual people’s lives were adversely affected by the insane acts of one man and the country he decimated.
Captain Hank Bracker
Eighty years ago on July 2, 1937 Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, disappeared while attempting to circumnavigate the world in a Lockheed Model 10- Electra. Her expedition, sponsored by Purdue University, a public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana, was brought to an end when this daring woman aviator and her navigator and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared near Howland Island in the central part of the Pacific Ocean. Since that time it was generally assumed that she had crashed at sea and simply disappeared beneath the waves of an unforgiving ocean. All the speculation ended on Sunday July 9, 2017 when Shawn Henry, a former executive assistant director for the FBI, brought world attention on the “History Channel” to a photograph that apparently shows Earhart and Noona on the dock of Jaluit Atoll, overlooking the SS Kaoshu towing a barge, with what looks like the Electra they had been flying. The intensive research and analysis that Shawn Henry and his team conducted presents compelling evidence and leaves no doubt but that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan had survived the crash. The team’s research also presents evidence that Amelia Earhart was held as a prisoner of war on the island of Saipan by the Japanese and died while in their custody.
There is nothing to be said except about the sheer waste and futility of it all. It is the war all over again, when one is rung up to be told that Rupert was dead, or that one's brother was killed, and one knew that it was only to produce the kind of world we are living in now. Horrible.
People who mock incidents in history such as 9/11 or the Holocaust, referring to it all as a hoax or stirring up crazy conspiracy theories about it, should really stop and think about their words first, both because it shows flaws in logic and rationality to deny the obvious, and because to play pretend with incidents which killed innocent people, well, that's just like laughing in the face of tragedy. It's as if to say, "no, it's not horrible enough that these people were killed, oh no, we have to drag on these incidents by indulging in melodramatic fantasies!" In essence this means that those who lost loved ones not only have to live with these losses forever, they also have to live with the people who deny that any of it ever happened. It does no good to forget history or to deny it. All it does is desensitize people; it tells them that it's all just a game, which then risks the possibility of nobody taking it seriously enough to prevent something similar from happening again.
How many remember where they were when the war began on the 1st of September 1939? I remember. I should remember. I started it. My name is Robert Leroy Parker.
Were there atheists in foxholes during World War II? Of course, as can be verified by my dogtags . . . A veteran of Omaha Beach in 1944, I insisted upon including ‘None’ instead of P, C, or J as my religious affiliation.
Queenie, herself again, took hold of Maddie’s hand and squeezed it tightly. She walked all the way back across the airfield without letting it go. Maddie closed her eyes and flew again in the ethereal pale green light. She knew she would never let it go.
Captain Hank Bracker
The compartment was now completely full. Looking out to the passageway through the inside window, I could see a German soldier standing in the crowded passageway. He had his back to the outside window and I could see his reflection and knew that he had field rations attached to his belt. As he glanced towards me, he could see how hungry and drawn I looked. I was grateful when he kindly offered to share his rations with me. Although many people became nasty and bitter because of the trials of war, there were still some kind and decent people left. There was no doubt but that this war had left an indelible imprint on everyone!
Even in former days, Korea was known as the 'hermit kingdom' for its stubborn resistance to outsiders. And if you wanted to create a totally isolated and hermetic society, northern Korea in the years after the 1953 'armistice' would have been the place to start. It was bounded on two sides by the sea, and to the south by the impregnable and uncrossable DMZ, which divided it from South Korea. Its northern frontier consisted of a long stretch of China and a short stretch of Siberia; in other words its only contiguous neighbors were Mao and Stalin. (The next-nearest neighbor was Japan, historic enemy of the Koreans and the cruel colonial occupier until 1945.) Add to that the fact that almost every work of man had been reduced to shards by the Korean War. Air-force general Curtis LeMay later boasted that 'we burned down every town in North Korea,' and that he grounded his bombers only when there were no more targets to hit anywhere north of the 38th parallel. Pyongyang was an ashen moonscape. It was Year Zero. Kim Il Sung could create a laboratory, with controlled conditions, where he alone would be the engineer of the human soul.
Captain Hank Bracker
I went along on this ride, as did Adolph, and we returned to the Feudenheim district of Mannheim, which was where our apartment stood. The roads were extremely cratered from the frequent bombings and the driver had to carefully circumvent these deep chasms. As we drove along we were fully aware that we could also become an inviting target, but eventually we arrived at the house safely. Surprisingly, the house was still relatively undamaged and my flat was locked up and further secured with a padlock, which I had used. It was apparent from the drawn blinds that everyone had moved out. Luckily I still had the keys and could open the door. Letting ourselves in, we looked around. It was really surprising that everything was still in place and that looters hadn’t ransacked everything, as was usually the case. Pointing out the items of furniture I would need, Herr Meyer quickly organized the boys, in a military fashion, and had them carry my things down the three flights of stairs. Even the truck driver helped carry my things, and to my delight the move went smoothly. When the truck was finally loaded, the weight became apparent. Weighted down with an old coal stove and its chimney sections, kitchen cupboard, a radio, double bed and mattress, a sofa and my wardrobe as well as pots and pans, it was down onto its axles.
There have been ample opportunities since 1945 to show that material superiority in war is not enough if the will to fight is lacking. In Algeria, Vietnam and Afghanistan the balance of economic and military strength lay overwhelmingly on the side of France, the United States, and the Soviet Union, but the will to win was slowly eroded. Troops became demoralised and brutalised. Even a political solution was abandoned. In all three cases the greater power withdrew. The Second World War was an altogether different conflict, but the will to win was every bit as important - indeed it was more so. The contest was popularly perceived to be about issues of life and death of whole communities rather than for their fighting forces alone. They were issues, wrote one American observer in 1939, 'worth dying for'. If, he continued, 'the will-to-destruction triumphs, our resolution to preserve civilisation must become more implacable...our courage must mount'. Words like 'will' and 'courage' are difficult for historians to use as instruments of cold analysis. They cannot be quantified; they are elusive of definition; they are products of a moral language that is regarded sceptically today, even tainted by its association with fascist rhetoric. German and Japanese leaders believed that the spiritual strength of their soldiers and workers in some indefinable way compensate for their technical inferiority. When asked after the war why Japan lost, one senior naval officer replied that the Japanese 'were short on spirit, the military spirit was weak...' and put this explanation ahead of any material cause. Within Germany, belief that spiritual strength or willpower was worth more than generous supplies of weapons was not confined to Hitler by any means, though it was certainly a central element in the way he looked at the world. The irony was that Hitler's ambition to impose his will on others did perhaps more than anything to ensure that his enemies' will to win burned brighter still. The Allies were united by nothing so much as a fundamental desire to smash Hitlerism and Japanese militarism and to use any weapon to achieve it. The primal drive for victory at all costs nourished Allied fighting power and assuaged the thirst for vengeance. They fought not only because the sum of their resources added up to victory, but because they wanted to win and were certain that their cause was just. The Allies won the Second World War because they turned their economic strength into effective fighting power, and turned the moral energies of their people into an effective will to win. The mobilisation of national resources in this broad sense never worked perfectly, but worked well enough to prevail. Materially rich, but divided, demoralised, and poorly led, the Allied coalition would have lost the war, however exaggerated Axis ambitions, however flawed their moral outlook. The war made exceptional demands on the Allied peoples. Half a century later the level of cruelty, destruction and sacrifice that it engendered is hard to comprehend, let alone recapture. Fifty years of security and prosperity have opened up a gulf between our own age and the age of crisis and violence that propelled the world into war. Though from today's perspective Allied victory might seem somehow inevitable, the conflict was poised on a knife-edge in the middle years of the war. This period must surely rank as the most significant turning point in the history of the modern age.
In political affairs illusions are usually the product of a failure to appreciate change; but such failure-usually a necessary and perhaps salutary part of human affairs-becomes, when the change is very fast, not a stabilizing conservatism but a form of deception resembling lunacy.
When the first news of the Nazi camps was published in 1945, there were those who thought the facts might be exaggerated either by Allied war propaganda or by the human tendency to relish 'atrocity stories.' In his column in the London magazine Tribune, George Orwell wrote that, though this might be so, the speculation was not exactly occurring in a vacuum. If you remember what the Nazis did to the Jews before the war, he said, it isn't that difficult to imagine what they might do to them during one. In one sense, the argument over 'Holocaust denial' ends right there. The National Socialist Party seized power in 1933, proclaiming as its theoretical and organising principle the proposition that the Jews were responsible for all the world's ills, from capitalist profiteering to subversive Bolshevism. By means of oppressive legislation, they began to make all of Germany Judenrein, or 'Jew-free.' Jewish businesses were first boycotted and then confiscated. Jewish places of worship were first vandalised and then closed. Wherever Nazi power could be extended—to the Rhineland, to Austria and to Sudeten Czechoslovakia—this pattern of cruelty and bigotry was repeated. (And, noticed by few, the state killing of the mentally and physically 'unfit,' whether Jewish or 'Aryan,' was tentatively inaugurated.) After the war broke out, Hitler was able to install puppet governments or occupation regimes in numerous countries, each of which was compelled to pass its own version of the anti-Semitic 'Nuremberg Laws.' Most ominous of all—and this in plain sight and on camera, and in full view of the neighbours—Jewish populations as distant as Salonika were rounded up and put on trains, to be deported to the eastern provinces of conquered Poland. None of this is, even in the remotest sense of the word, 'deniable.
The ultimate question for a responsible man to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation is going to live.
DAVID SHIELDS: Salinger told Whit Burnett... that on D-Day he was carrying six chapters of 'The Catcher in the Rye', that he needed those pages with him not only as an amulet to help him survive but as a reason to survive.
Gideon conquers, the church conquers, we conquer, because faith conquers. But the victory belongs not to Gideon, the church, or ourselves, but to God. And God's victory means our defeat, our humiliation; it means God's derision and wrath at all human pretensions of might, at humans puffing themselves up and thinking they are somebodies themselves. It means the world and its shouting is silenced, that all our ideas and plans are frustrated; it means the cross. The cross over the world -- that means that human beings, even the most noble, go down to dust whether it suits them or not, and with them all the gods and idols and lords of this world. The cross of Jesus Christ --that means God's bitter mockery of all human grandeur and God's bitter suffering in all human misery, God's lordship over all the world.
Captain Hank Bracker
With boarding passes in hand Adeline led her children, each carrying a small suitcase, up the long gangway onto the Dominion Monarch, which would soon be heading towards South Africa. There were other gangways closer to the water line for the troops that were coming aboard for their voyage home. It was amazing to note the number of black soldiers that were returning to their countries and a tribal way of life. Although World War II is usually thought of as a European war, there were many black soldiers, frequently talked about using derogatory terms by people that should have known better. Regardless of their color the majority of sldiers had been conscripted and fought valiantly with the Allies. Now they would be returning to their homes in Africa, the same as Adeline and her children were, but because of their color their lives would remain drastically different.
Captain Hank Bracker
I find it difficult to remember all of the details of our journey after leaving Mannheim. At the time I was depressed and extremely tired. The children must have felt the same way since they were just there. The unflappable joy they always demonstrated and the sparkle in their eyes was missing. An unspeakable sadness had settled in. Being children they were being denied the right to be happy, to be able to celebrate their youth and look forward to a promising future. Now they hardly ever complained or cried. They sometimes said that they were hungry and asked if we had food, but accepted the fact that we were all hungry most of the time. My only vivid recollection is that we were headed towards the Bodensee, or what is called Lake Constance, near the Swiss border. The only reason we were going there was that it seemed rural, and more distant from the advancing front and active war zone. Perhaps I felt that neutral Switzerland was close by and if need be we could appeal to someone’s compassion and escape. Of course this was only a fleeting thought and could never happen….
It is when we finally realize the futility of violence and the invalidity of war will we, the people of this world finally wake up!
In the end the war was Hitler's war. It was not perhaps the war he wanted. But it was the war he was prepared to risk if he had to. Nothing could deter him...He was no longer prepared to wait on events. He needed to force them to manipulate them to manufacture incidents to create pretexts for action.
At the laboratory, Turing designed the first relatively complete electronic stored-program digital computer for code breaking in 1945. Darwin deemed it too ambitious, however, and after several years Turing left in disgust. When the laboratory finally built his design in 1950, it was the fastest computer in the world and, astonishingly, had the memory capacity of an early Macintosh built three decades later.
The descent to barbarism had begun with Rotterdam. It ended with Dresden and then with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Whatever moral differences had existed when the war began were erased by its end. The victors had been morally conquered by the enemy.
I never thought I should live to grow blasé about the sound of gunfire, but so I have
Teresa R. Funke
The tears are falling freely now, and I don't care if he sees them. They're tears of relief for my nephew, worry for my grandfather and my brother, and shame for my mistake. I figure I earned them.
Work, love, courage and hope, Make me good and help me cope!
Johann Baptist Metz
Potkraj Drugoga svjetskog rata izvukli su me iz škole i, kao šesnaestogodišnjaka, gurnuli u vojsku. Nakon kratke vojničke izobrazbe u würzburškim kasarnama došao sam na frontu koja se u to vrijeme već bila pomakla preko Rajne u Njemačku. Četa je bila sastavljena iz samih mladih ljudi, bilo nas je preko stotinu. Jedne večeri komandir čete poslao me prenijeti jednu poruku u komandu bataljona. Noću sam lutao razorenim selima i majurima, a kad sam se pred jutro našao na mjestu gdje sam ostavio svoju četu, našao sam još samo mrtvace: četu je pregazio kombinirani napad lovaca-bombardera i tenkova. Svima njima, s kojima sam još dan ranije dijelio dječje tjeskobe i mladenački smijeh, sada sam mogao gledati još samo ugasli mrtvi obraz. Ne sjećam se ničega doli jednog krika bez glasa. I danas još vidim samoga sebe tako, a iza spomena na to raspali su se snovi mojega djetinjstva.
Teresa R. Funke
One day this war will end. And when it does, Tule Lake will be just a memory.
There was no feeling of dedication because it was absolutely involuntary. I do not doubt that if the Marines had asked for volunteers for an impossible campaign such as Guadalcanal, almost everyone now fighting would have stepped forward. But that is sacrifice; that is voluntary. Being expended robs you of the exultation, the self-abnegation, the absolute freedom of self-sacrifice. Being puts one in the role of victim rather than sacrificer, and there is always something begrudging in this. I doubt if Isaac would have accepted the knife of his father, Abraham, entirely without reproach; yet, for the same master, he would have gladly gone to his death a thousand times. The world is full of the sacrifice of heroes and martyrs, but there was only one Victim.
I can’t recite the chronology or elaborate on the facts. I can’t explain the reasons or defend how we lived our lives. What I can tell you is how the events of 1933 sowed the seeds that fundamentally changed our future, that there was little hand-wringing or emotion, that circumstances were beyond control, that there was no recourse or appeal. I can tell you that events were incremental, that the unbelievable became the believable and, ultimately, the normal.
The world is wrong. I'm just doing my part to fix it.
When the Germans surrendered with their arms raised high, holding a white flag, they weren't at all how i imagined them: hard, cruel, tall and monstrous with cigars chomped between their lips talking about how they wanted to shoot babies and old people. Instead they were boys like us, teenagers, tired, scared, dirty, and looking almost relieved that their was over, for now, that they can rest their bone-tired bodies in the POW camps.
Captain Hank Bracker
Our efforts to brace and strengthen the ceiling in the dark and dismal cellar of our home, with poles that were spaced about three feet apart, soon proved to be totally inadequate. We also fashioned window and door guards using scrap iron and steel as protection against the nightly rain of relentless horror by the bombings from above. Every time an air raid alarm sounded the five children and three women, living in this old building, stumbled down into the dark, damp basement. It was extremely difficult for one person to fit a baby carriage down the steep stairs and since my baby daughter’s pram was just too large for me to handle alone, I had to lift Ursula out of it and carry her down steep stairs to our makeshift subterranean pantry. The extreme cold of winter made the intolerable situation even worse. To care for little Ursula, my baby girl, I was forced to sit on the floor of this subterranean pantry. I can still remember the thick coarse material of the heavy coat I wore, as I crouched in what I thought was a protected corner, on the dirt floor. With the upturned collar of my heavy coat scratching my cheeks and uncertain of my surroundings, I fumbled and struggled in the dark and severe cold trying to burp, change and nurse my small, hungry child.
That there is in this world neither brains, nor goodness, nor good sense, but only brute force. Bloodshed. Starvation. Death. That there was not the slightest hope not even a glimmer of hope, of justice being done. It would never happen. No one would ever do it. The world was just one big Babi Yar. And there two great forces had come up against each other and were striking against each other like hammer and anvil, and the wretched people were in between, with no way out; each individual wanted only to live and not be maltreated, to have something to eat, and yet they howled and screamed and in their fear they were grabbing at each other’s throats, while I, little blob of watery jelly, was sitting in the midst of this dark world. Why? What for? Who had done it all? There was nothing, after all, to hope for! Winter. Night.
Minnie Spotted Wolf from Butte, Montana, was the first Native American to enlist in the Marine Corps Womens' Reserve. Spotted Wolf joined in 1943. She commented that Marine Corps boot camp was "hard, but not that hard.
You should get one of those new-fangled, one-piece siren suits," she teased Jedrick, stepping over to fix his collar. "Think how fast it would be!" "With the zip?" he said, dubiously. "In ten thousand years!
So much of the inexplicable about the Soviet experience—the hatred of the peasantry for example, the secrecy and paranoia, the murderous witch hunt of the Great Terror, the placing of the Party above family and life itself, the suspicion of the USSR’s own espionage that led to the success of Hitler’s 1941 surprise attack—was the result of the underground life, the konspiratsia of the Okhrana and the revolutionaries, and also the Caucasian values and style of Stalin. And not just of Stalin.
There was no need to discuss racial prejudice. Hadn't we all, black and white, just snatched the remaining Jews from the hell of concentration camps? Race prejudice was dead. A mistake made by a young country. Something to be forgiven as an unpleasant act committed by an intoxicated friend.
¡Qué poco sabían estas personas que las masas siempre dan la bienvenida al lobo disfrazado en la piel de cordero! ¡Qué poco conocían del significado de "circo y pan para la gente"!ç
Captain Hank Bracker
For the greatest part the American bombardiers, using the Norden bombsight with its autopilot, hit their target. However on nights with poor visibility anything was possible. As the bombs fell, people pushed their way down the path towards the square concrete entrance to the bunker. In their frantic haste to get to safety they knocked each other down. Stepping onto each other, many people, especially the older ones, fell as they tried to get out of harm’s way, and were crushed. The pushing and shoving was relentless as the poor screaming people were trampled in the dark. My best friend Anna tried to bring some clothing with her. She was among those trampled and died when the sharp end of a coat hanger pierced her throat. The horror of it all brought the worst out in people, who behaved worse than animals. It wasn’t until the air raid was over that the wardens undertook the grim task of removing the bodies of these unfortunate victims. Photo Caption: The actual bunker in Mannheim, Germany.
I don't know whether Western listeners would find my words embarrassing—it is difficult for me to judge that kind of reaction—but I would put it this way: those people who have lived in the most terrible conditions, on the frontier between life and death, be it people from the West or from the East, all understand that between good and evil there is an irreconcilable contradiction, that it is not one and the same thing—good or evil—that one cannot build one's life without regard to this distinction. I am surprised that pragmatic philosophy consistently scorns moral considerations; and nowadays in the Western press we read a candid declaration of the principle that moral considerations have nothing to do with politics. I would remind you that in 1939 England thought differently. If moral considerations were not applicable to politics, then it would be incomprehensible why England went to war with Hitler's Germany. Pragmatically, you could have gotten out of the situation, but England chose the moral course, and experienced and demonstrated to the world perhaps the most brilliant and heroic period in its history.
Simone De Beauvoir
Vengeance is pointless, but certain men did not have a place in the world we sought to construct
The noble old synagogue had been profaned and turned into a stable by the Nazis, and left open to the elements by the Communists, at least after they had briefly employed it as a 'furniture facility.' It had then been vandalized and perhaps accidentally set aflame by incurious and callous local 'youths.' Only the well-crafted walls really stood, though a recent grant from the European Union had allowed a makeshift roof and some wooden scaffolding to hold up and enclose the shell until further notice. Adjacent were the remains of a mikvah bath for the ritual purification of women, and a kosher abattoir for the ritual slaughter of beasts: I had to feel that it was grotesque that these obscurantist relics were the only ones to have survived. In a corner of the yard lay a pile of smashed stones on which appeared inscriptions in Hebrew and sometimes Yiddish. These were all that remained of the gravestones. There wasn't a Jew left in the town, and there hadn't been one, said Mr. Kichler, since 1945.
Is it morally acceptable to murder one hundred innocent people in the process of catching a serial killer who has murdered ten people? If you think World War II was justified, your answer should be yes.