Best 127 quotes in «ww2 quotes» category

  • By Anonym

    After the Christmas and New Year of 1944 my mother and I returned to Strausberg, but the area was full of people evacuated from Berlin due to mass bombings on the capital by the RAF. These had started, in a small way, on 25 August, 1940, and had continued through 1941 and 1942. However, by November, 1943, these air attacks were major, involving mass bomber streams of more than 800 aircraft. I used to stand outside the front of our house and look at the sky, watching the silver bombers turning over Strausberg and heading in the direction of Berlin. Many were shot down, some near us in the fields around Strausberg.

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    In War: Resolution; In Defeat: Defiance; In Victory: Magnanimity; In Peace: Good Will.

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    A girl like that does not deserve to be married to a man she does not love!” The doctor stared for a moment, and then burst into quite inexplicable laughter. “Are we still speaking of Helen?” he wheezed after a moment. “Yes,” snapped the matron, glaring at him. “Dear me,” said the doctor, removing his glasses and dabbing at his eyes with a handkerchief. “Such a circumstance would be very unfortunate – very, very.” The matron huffed. “The poor child is trapped in a loveless marriage – trust me. I’m a woman.” “The not-at-all-to-be-pitied girl is married to a man she adores,” the doctor said, smiling. “Trust me. I’m a man, with a wife and three daughters.” “Adores my eye!” The doctor replaced his spectacles and spoke very patiently: “Miss Bingham, only a woman who loves remembers what kind of aircraft her man flies.

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    Agreed. We could set a trap for him. See if he goes for it.” “How would we do that?” Conversation between ‘Borge’ and ‘Jens’ The Informer by Steen Langstrup

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    A girl got kicked out of the swimming hole today. Inge Hachmann. They said they wouldn’t let us swim with a half-breed. Unsanitary. A half-breed, Werner. Aren’t we half-breeds too? Aren’t we half our mother, half our father?

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    All the nut eaters and food faddists I have ever known, died early after a long period of senile decay - Winston Churchill

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    And then they saw bearded Billy Pilgrim in his blue toga and silver shoes, with his hands in a muff. He looked at least sixty years old. Next to Billy was little Paul Lazzaro with a broken arm. He was fizzing with rabies. Next to Lazzaro was the poor old high school teacher, Edgar Derby, mournfully pregnant with patriotism and middle age and imaginary wisdom.

  • By Anonym

    A man ain't never seen greatness till he set eyes on the likes of Armstrong. That the truth. Those hooded lids, that blinding smile: the jack was immense, majestic. But something else too: he looked brutally human, like he known suffering on its own terms. His mouth was shocking. He done wrecked his chops from the pressure of hitting all them high notes over the years. He lift a handkerchief to his mouth, wipe off a line of spittle. I seen something in him then: a sort of devastated patience, a awful tiredness. I known that look. My mama had it all her life.

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    Always there have been six ravens at the Tower. If the ravens fly away, the kingdom will fall.

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    A sense of responsibility— or was it guilt?— hung over me, that I was in some way at fault because of cowering to all these pompous men all these years, when I should have had the bravery to reclaim my own mind. That if we women had done this years ago, before the last war, before this one, we’d be in a very different world.

  • By Anonym

    A searchlight catches the plane for an instant. The cockpit is awash with searing bluish brightness. As if a revelation is about to take place. As if an angel is about to appear. He can’t see the instrument panel. The finger of light has the aircraft in its grip. Holding her suspended above the city. As if she is perched on a tightrope. Visible to the whole of Berlin down below. The glare bites into his eyes, sucks strength from his legs. He kicks the rudders to the right. The starboard wing tilts down. He pulls the wheel back. Below, a shifting tableau of coloured globes slide over the tilting smoking surface of the earth. Some roads and buildings made visible by fires and incendiaries.

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    As he journeyed alone toward the monster that is death, we could do nothing to help him, nor the others still alive; all the words of strength on our lips melted away, our love not great enough to bind them to life, and our hope not enough to will them to live.

  • By Anonym

    Aufgearbeitet wäre die Vergangenheit erst dann, wenn die Ursachen des Vergangenen beseitigt wären. Nur weil die Ursachen fortbestehen, ward sein Bann bis heute nicht gebrochen.

  • By Anonym

    As I remember, the worst result of a World War II block was a flood of Argentine Gin. Sensitive martini-boys and Gibson-girls still shudder....

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    As the sun rose I could see Etna, a truncated cone with a plume of smoke over it like the quill of a pen stuck in a pewter inkpot, rising out of the haze to the north of where I was treading water.

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    As we passed this living cruelty, I shuddered in momentarily isolation and then let out an audible gasp at what I saw. They were hanging from trees! Some shaking violently, with their intestines hanging out of their bodies! Those who were still partly alive were screaming with pain, and wriggling on the branches trying to get off the ropes ... some had fallen off the branches of the trees, they were crawling along the ground, and towards us.

  • By Anonym

    Auschwitz was a much safer place to be than Dresden or any other city of any size in Germany from 1943 onward.

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    But the public did not know the truth about what happened to the people in the trucks; they believed the stories from the government, who said that these people, known as Untermensch (non-people or ‘lower people’), were simply moved to open spaces in the east and settled on farms, away from Germany, so as not to ‘contaminate’ the German race. This is an example of people not wishing to know the facts behind the rumours in which were whispered between trusted friends. The general belief was that the rumours were rubbish anyway, for how could a civilized country do such things? Our leaders would never allow anything bad to happen to these people; after all, we were not barbarians! And so nothing was said, or done, and the public developed a collective blindness to the truth.

  • By Anonym

    I was on one of my world 'walkabouts.' It had taken me once more through Hong Kong, to Japan, Australia, and then Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific [one of the places I grew up]. There I found the picture of 'the Father.' It was a real, gigantic Saltwater Crocodile (whose picture is now featured on page 1 of TEETH). From that moment, 'the Father' began to swim through the murky recesses of my mind. Imagine! I thought, men confronting the world’s largest reptile on its own turf! And what if they were stripped of their firearms, so they must face this force of nature with nothing but hand weapons and wits? We know that neither whales nor sharks hunt individual humans for weeks on end. But, Dear Reader, crocodiles do! They are intelligent predators that choose their victims and plot their attacks. So, lost on its river, how would our heroes escape a great hunter of the Father’s magnitude? And what if these modern men must also confront the headhunters and cannibals who truly roam New Guinea? What of tribal wars, the coming of Christianity and materialism (the phenomenon known as the 'Cargo Cult'), and the people’s introduction to 'civilization' in the form of world war? What of first contact between pristine tribal culture and the outside world? What about tribal clashes on a global scale—the hatred and enmity between America and Japan, from Pearl Harbor, to the only use in history of atomic weapons? And if the world could find peace at last, how about Johnny and Katsu?

  • By Anonym

    But you never knew where the bombs would fall in the dark, so night bombing was even more frightening than daylight bombing. Let’s just say, it scared the living daylights out of us!

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    Dal Ka-Be la musica non si sente bene: arriva assiduo e monotono il martellare della grancassa e dei piatti, ma su questa trama le frasi musicali si disegnano solo a intervalli, col capriccio del vento. Noi ci guardiamo l'un l'altro nei nostri letti, perchè tutti sentiamo che questa è musica infernale. I motivi sono pochi, una dozzina, ogni giorno gli stessi, mattina e sera: marce e canzoni popolari care a ogni tedesco. Esse giacciono incise nelle nostre menti, saranno l'ultima cosa del Lager che dimenticheremo: sono la voce del Lager, l'espressione sensibile della sua follia geometrica, della risoluzione altrui di annullarci prima come uomoni per ucciderci poi lentamente. Quando questa musica suona, noi sappiamo che i compagni, fuori nella nebbia, partono in marcia come automi; le loro anime sono morte e la musica li sospinge, come il vento le foglie secche, e si sostituisce alla loro volontà. Non c'è più volontà, ogni pulsazione diventa un passo, una contrazione rilflessa dei muscoli sfatti. [...] Ma dove andiamo non sappiamo. Potremo forse sopravvivere alle malattie e sfuggire alle scelte, forse anche resistere al lavoro e alla fame che ci consumano: e dopo? Qui, lontani momentaneamente dalle bestiemme e dai colpi, possiamo rientrare in noi stessi e meditare, e allora diventa chiaro che non ritorneremo. Noi abbiamo viaggiato fin qui nei vagoni piombati; noi abbiamo visto partire verso il niente le nostre donne e i nostri bambini; noi fatti schiavi abbiamo marciato centro volte avanti e indietro alla fatica muta, spenti nell'anima prima che dalla morte anonima. Noi non ritorneremo. Nessuno deve uscire di qui, che potrebbe portare al mondo, insieme col segno impresso nella carne, la mala novella di quanto ad Auschwitz, è bastato animo all'uomo di fare all'uomo.

  • By Anonym

    Children accept the conditions they are born into, and, to a degree, I was getting used to the bombings, fires, and death around me. I remember that I thought those things were normal. It is grown-ups who worry about things, and this ... this was total panic! I could taste the fear, and I could see that my mother was frightened, which I had never seen before, and this made me even more frightened.

  • By Anonym

    Current interventions in use with children include psycho-pharmacological treatments, play therapy, psychological debriefing and testimony therapy, but this was Nazi Germany in 1945!

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    First, people tolerate evil because they see some benefit to themselves,' he said. 'Then, they feed it in hope that it will turn into something else. Then, they appease it in hope that it will not turn against them. Then, they respect it because they fear it. Finally, someone has to step up and stamp it out! (...)

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    Det skal Luftwaffe ha: Da de knuste våre bygninger, erstattet de dem ikke med noe mer provoserende enn ruiner. Vi gikk enda lenger. (Om pariserhjulet London Eye, gjendiktet av Torbjørn Færøvik)

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    Even if this spring the dappled leaves should shelter our minds from the moon's pale echo we would still remember how once they were sheltered by our skulls only from the day's sun and the night's stars and never from what we feared and what we remembered

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    Her nerves licked her palms.

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    He begun to tease air through the brass. At first we all just stood there with our axes at the ready, staring at him. Nothing happened. I glanced at Chip, shook my head. But then I begun to hear, like a pinprick on the air--it was that subtle--the voice of a hummingbird singing at a pitch and speed almost beyond hearing. Wasn't like nothing I ever heard before. The kid come in at a strange angle, made the notes glitter like crystal. Pausing, he took a huge breath, started playing a ear-spitting scale that drawn out the invisible phrase he'd just played.

  • By Anonym

    He loved children and used to dandle me on his knee. This was how the title came about for this book, Uncle Hitler, although in the old German tradition, I called him Uncle Adolf, even though I was not related to him. This was a sign of respect to an older person, which is why I called Frau Eva ‘Aunty Eva’. However, little did I know at that time what revulsion the name Adolf Hitler would eventually invoke in the decent conscience of the world.

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    He’s never going to confess, BB. Why don’t we just shoot him and go home? I’ve got an important appointment coming up.” Ingrid aka ‘Alis K’ The Informer by Steen Langstrup

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    Gentlemen, this is a story that you shall tell your grandchildren, and mightily bored they'll be.

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    Hitler initially served in the List Regiment engaged in a violent four-day battle near Ypres, in Belgian Flanders, with elite British professional soldiers of the initial elements of the British Expeditionary Force. Hitler thereby served as a combat infantryman in one of the most intense engagements of the opening phase of World War I. The List Regiment was temporarily destroyed as an offensive force by suffering such severe casualty rates (killed, wounded, missing, and captured) that it lost approximately 70 percent of its initial strength of around 3,600 men. A bullet tore off Hitler’s right sleeve in the first day of combat, and in the “batch” of men with which he originally advanced, every one fell dead or wounded, leaving him to survive as if through a miracle. On November 9, 1914, about a week after the ending of the great battle, Hitler was reassigned as a dispatch runner to regimental headquarters. Shortly thereafter, he was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class. On about November 14, 1914, the new regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel Philipp Engelhardt, accompanied by Hitler and another dispatch runner, moved forward into terrain of uncertain ownership. Engelhardt hoped to see for himself the regiment’s tactical situation. When Engelhardt came under aimed enemy smallarms fire, Hitler and the unnamed comrade placed their bodies between their commander and the enemy fire, determined to keep him alive. The two enlisted men, who were veterans of the earlier great four-day battle around Ypres, were doubtlessly affected by the death of the regiment’s first commander in that fight and were dedicated to keeping his replacement alive. Engelhardt was suitably impressed and proposed Hitler for the Iron Cross Second Class, which he was awarded on December 2. Hitler’s performance was exemplary, and he began to fit into the world around him and establish the image of a combat soldier tough enough to demand the respect of anyone in right wing, Freikorps-style politics after the war. -- Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny, p. 88

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    How odd it is, thought March afterwards, to live your life in ignorance of the past, of your world, yourself. Yet how easy to do it! You went along from day to day, down paths other people had prepared for you, never raising your head - enfolded in their logic, from swaddling clothes to shroud. It was a kind of fear. Well, goodbye to that. And good to leave it behind - whatever happened now. - 214

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    I didn't know then that the sweet life could be like honeysuckle smothering a barbed-wire fence.

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    Human nature defeats me sometimes, how greed and spite can lurk so divisively around the utmost courage and sacrifice.

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    I felt so much more than horror. I was so afraid, shocked by what I saw. There were hundreds of men, women and children hanging from the trees ... there was blood everywhere! We all saw that every person had been gutted, like a fish. My instinct was to run, but where to ... I was on a train. As I watched those around me on the train, so many others also looked like they had explosions in their eyes and they too wanted to flee.

  • By Anonym

    I do recall hearing a conversation in our home in Strausberg, between my mother and my father, where my mother sounded very angry that my cousin had let the Rödels down by having to be dragged out of Oma’s house, crying for his mother and shouting that he did not want to return to the war in Russia. Like a great many other soldiers throughout that period, he died in Russia on 5 May, 1944. He was just twenty years of age, and is buried somewhere in that country.

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    If the ravens leave the Tower, Britain will fall.

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    Inside my carriage there was mass panic and I was in danger of being trampled, but somebody picked me off the floor, and I found myself by the window on the platform side. I was very frightened now, for I thought that I had lost my mother and was all alone, but a few minutes later she arrived at my side. She had some blood on her face, but she told me not to worry, it would all be fine soon.

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    I heard people talking about what this Red Army did to any Germans they captured, and this only added to my fears.

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    I looked at him. He sat in the darkness, with his brows knitted tightly together, as though trying to grasp something, to understand the inconceivable, to pinpoint the moment when everything suddenly got out of control and the point of no return was officially passed by both sides – the future murderers and their victims. The new Reich sorted us into two kinds and now he suddenly found himself among those who held an ax above our miserable heads.

  • By Anonym

    In spite of all the terrible things that happened to me, I did not allow Hitler to make me feel less than human. I had been raised well and I knew who I was. My strategy was not to allow myself to hate. I knew I could be consumed by such hate

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    If we don't think about our death until we die, how can we decide how we want to live?

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    I had my first cigarette when I was five,” he says, making rings of smoke. “With my mother.

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    I look at my mother, connected by a breath of glimmering hope, her red and shadowed eyes reveal that some element of our whole being has been lost and, somehow, thrown away. Sob-gasp, sob-gasp, sob-gasp. Slowly, that feeling within me fades. But wisps of it stay with you, locked in the chambers of your mind, always.

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    In therapy, to meet the needs of traumatized survivors of war and torture, the patient is requested to repeatedly talk about the worst traumatic event in detail while re-experiencing all emotions associated with the event. Traumatic memory, they say, is cleared by narration of whole life; from early childhood up to the present date ... this book is my therapy. I am awash with living memories.

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    I remember seeing one elderly man look at us, and he held his hand out, and most frightening were his eyes, dark as a soulless abyss, so black that it looked as if it had been blasted from a cyclone. I felt he was looking right at me. For a moment, I thought I was looking through his sockets, past his brain and behind him; as the tears started rolling down my cheeks a godless universe was expanding within me. Then I became hysterical.

  • By Anonym

    I often noticed that the surrounding mountains inspired Hitler. He once joked that here he stood 'above the world' in an environment comparable to Olympius, legendary mount of the gods, but that alone can never have been the motivation for himto put down his private roots on Obersalzberg.

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    I quickly got used to being picked up by my mother, and taken to the air raid shelter near our home. Although frightening, this was a great adventure to me as a child, for in the shelter I played with the other children and we felt safe there as we were surrounded by grown-ups; although now the grown-ups were more worried than they had been in the past. There were greater feelings of anxiety and fear in the older people, which we children also felt, and it unsettled us all.

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    I took a deep breath of the syrupy sweetness of summer, suffused with bees and birds, and I thought to myself how beautiful this world can be. How lucky we are to be here, to be part of it, for however long we have.