Holocaust Quotes for Remembering
April 27, 2023 5:00 AM EST
These Holocaust quotes take the weight of expressing the horrors of the Holocaust in words.
The Holocaust was a devastating event that happened in the twentieth century.
During the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler murdered 6 million Jewish People and others simply for existing.
It is truly one of the most horrific events to date and is one that should never be forgotten.
Let us know which of these Holocaust quotes resonated most with you in the comment section below.
According to a survey conducted by the Claims Conference in 2020, two-thirds of American millennials and Gen Z do not know what Auschwitz is, and 11% of respondents believe that Jews caused the Holocaust.
This statistic highlights the importance of educating younger generations about the Holocaust and the need for continued remembrance and commemoration.
What can we learn about humanity from remembering the Holocaust?
Humanity is just that—human, as we all are.
When we inflict unnecessary suffering on others, we eliminate our humanity.
The suffering that was created during the Holocaust was horrifying and has impacted people for generations.
So now, the most human thing we can do is remember.
These holocaust quotes will remind you:
- that we should not accept evil toward others
- each human life matters
- people have an exceptional capacity for resilience and can survive nearly anything
Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.
Check out our inspirational quotes category page for more inspirational life quotes.
Holocaust Quotes About Human Beings
A study by the Pew Research Center in 2019 found that anti-Semitic incidents in the US have been on the rise in recent years, with 2018 seeing the third-highest number of incidents since the Anti-Defamation League began tracking them in 1979.
This statistic underscores the ongoing prevalence of anti-Semitism and the need to combat hatred and intolerance.
1. “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank
2. “In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” – Anne Frank
3. “But miracles still happen, even if we don’t think they do.” – Diet Eman
4. “Once my father told me: When a Jew prays, he is asking God a question that has no end.” – Nicole Krauss
5. “For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” – Simon Wiesenthal
6. “The only reason for this treatment was that they were Jews.” – Muriel Knox Doherty
7. “Surely there is no more wretched sight than the human body unloved and uncared for.” – Corrie Ten Boom
8. “I’m not alone, I will never be alone. God is with me.” – Mark A. Cooper
9. “You kill yourself when you hate. It’s the worst disease in the world.” – William Schiff
10. “I thought those were others. Soon, I was to learn that they were us.” – Ralph Webster
Holocaust Quotes About Surviving
A survey by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany found that in 2020, 63% of all US adults did not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
This statistic highlights the need for increased education and awareness about the Holocaust and its impact on history.
11. “His eyes seem to see nothing. He is a man whose soul has died and whose body is waiting to catch up with it.” – Heather Morris
12. “For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” – Elie Wiesel
13. “Above all else, have faith. Drive out despair, and you will keep death away from yourselves.” – Elie Weisel
14. “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always takes sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” – Elie Wiesel
15. “Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” – Unknown
16. “There’s a long road of suffering ahead of you. But don’t lose courage. You’ve already escaped the gravest danger: selection.” – Elie Wiesel
17. “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.” – Diet Eman
18. “Who has inflicted this upon us? Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again.” – Anne Frank
19. “Our immortality comes through our children and their children. Through our roots and branches. The family is immortality. And Hitler has destroyed not just branches and roots, but entire family trees, forests. All of them, gone.” – Amy Harmon
20. “For me, being a Jew means feeling the tragedy of yesterday as an inner oppression. On my left forearm, I bear the Auschwitz number.” – Jean Amery
21. “Yes, I lay in my grave. But if you lie in a grave long enough, you get accustomed to it and you don’t want to part from it.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer
22. “Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable.” – Primo Levi
23. “Escape was not our goal since it was so unrealistic. What we wanted was to survive, to live long enough to tell the world what had happened in Buchenwald.” – Jack Werber
You might also like this list of The Book Thief quotes for living with purpose.
Holocaust Quotes About Taking Action
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, a growing number of Americans (45%) believe that the United States does not have a responsibility to take in refugees from countries where people are fleeing violence and war.
This statistic underscores the importance of taking action to protect and support those who are most vulnerable, including refugees and asylum seekers.
24. “When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitives become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.” – Unknown
25. “We are alive. We are human, with good and bad in us. That’s all we know for sure. We can’t create a new species or a new world. That’s been done. Now we have to live within those boundaries.” – Carol Matas
26. “For your benefit, learn from our tragedy. It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews. It can also be other people. We saw it begin in Germany with Jews, but people from more than twenty other nations were also murdered.” – Simon Wiesenthal
27. “Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” – Yehuda Bauer
28. “If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example.” – Anne Frank
29. “Some people like the Jews and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.” – Winston Churchill
30. “Maybe people had no choice but I wonder sometimes what would have happened if everyone without a choice would have made the choice anyway. If we all chose not to participate. Not to be bullied. Not to take up arms. Not to persecute. What would happen then?” – Amy Harmon
31. “What I want you to take away from my life story is just how important it is to defend your freedom, at all costs. Experience has shown me that if you lost your freedom, you are condemned to fail.” – Leon Schgrin
32. “The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history. I mean in this century’s history. But we all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century.” – Dan Quayle
33. “Between two throw-ins in a soccer game, right behind my back, three thousand people had been put to death.” – Tadusz Borowski
34. “The point of civilization is to be civilized; the purpose of action is to perpetuate society, for only in society can philosophy truly take place.” – Unknown
Holocaust Quotes About the Horror of The Event
A study by the Claims Conference found that over a quarter of Americans (28%) believe that the Holocaust is a myth or has been exaggerated.
This study emphasizes the importance of countering Holocaust denial and misinformation.
35. “I told him that I did not believe that they could burn people in our age, that humanity would never tolerate it.” – Elie Wiesel
36. “Do you know why most survivors of the Holocaust are vegan? It’s because they know what it’s like to be treated like an animal.” – Chuck Palahniuk
37. “Bread, soup—these were my whole life. I was a body. Perhaps less than that even: a starved stomach. The stomach alone was aware of the passage of time.” – Elie Wiesel
38. “We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We had forgotten everything—death, fatigue, our natural needs. Stronger than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die, condemned and wandering, mere numbers, we were the only men on earth.” – Elie Wiesel
39. “The question shouldn’t be, ‘why are you, a Christian, here in a death camp, condemned for trying to save Jews?’ The real questions is ‘why aren’t all the Christians here?’” – Unknown
40. “Darwinism by itself did not produce the Holocaust, but without Darwinism… neither Hitler nor his Nazi followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the world’s greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.” – Richard Weikart
41. “I had no real communication with anyone at the time, so I was totally dependent on God. And he never failed me.” – Diet Eman
42. “When their bodies had finished scouring for gaps in the door, their souls rose up. When their fingernails had scratched at the wood and in some cases were nailed into it by the sheer force of desperation, their spirits came toward me.” – Markus Zusak
43. “War was funny like that: one minute you could try and block it and have the most wonderful thoughts, the next you were back in the nightmare.” – Mark A Cooper
44. “I have more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He alone has kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people.” – Elie Weisel
45. “The world? The world is not interested in us. Today, everything is possible, even the crematoria…” – Elie Weisel
46. “I am a Jew, then I mean by that those realities and possibilities that are summed up in the Auschwitz number.” – Jean Amery
47. “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the small face of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.” – Elie Weisel
More Holocaust quotes and sayings
According to a survey conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, 63% of Americans aged 18-39 could not identify the Auschwitz concentration camp.
This statistic highlights the need for education and awareness about the Holocaust and its significance.
48. “I felt peace, even though I was still scared to death. I thought that, whatever happened to me—I could still be killed. I didn’t know—and in what I’d already been through, God was in control.” – Diet Eman
49. “At Dachau. We had a wonderful pool for the garrison children. It was even heated. But that was before we were transferred. Dachau was ever so much nicer than Auschwitz. But then, it was in the Reich.” – William Styron
50. “After the prayer they executed an armed robbery. That sounds very strange this many years later: prayer and then armed robbery.” – Diet Eman
51. “Who would have thought that words could hold so much power, to stir so much hatred that it would eventually lead to genocide? I, for one, had always believed that we, the human race, were better than that.” – Ellie Midwood
52. “I’m not talking about your book now, but look at how many books have already been written about the Holocaust. What’s the point? People haven’t changed… maybe they need a newer, bigger Holocaust.” – Art Speigelman
53. “It is always a mistake to underestimate how long it takes for mankind to understand the traumas it has suffered, especially the self-inflicted ones.” – A.C. Grayling
54. “By the end of the war, I could pick out Jewish people almost as if I had a sixth sense about it, even if they had blue eyes and blond hair. I would have been a very valuable Gestapo person.” – Diet Eman
55. “She believes that everyone we meet influences us, that we need to hear their stories to learn more about ourselves.” – Gemma Liviero
56. “The past is gone. My life is a miracle! With gratitude to God, I am still here to remember and to tell what happened to me during the Holocaust of WWII.” – Leah Cik Roth
57. “Memory for most is a kind of afterlife; for my mother, it is another form of life.” – Fern Shumer Chapman
58. “I have the greatest respect for the survivors of the Holocaust. We can’t even imagine what these people went through.” – Daniel Barenboim
59. “As much as the world has an instinct for evil and is a breeding ground for genocide, holocaust, slavery, racism, war, oppression, and injustice, the world has an even greater instinct for goodness, rebirth, mercy, beauty, truth, freedom and love.” – Desmond Tutu
60. “The Holocaust story has been told and retold so many times.” – Israel Horovitz
Holocaust quotes from survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl
A study conducted by Pew Research Center found that only 45% of Americans can correctly identify the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust.
This statistic highlights the importance of educating the public on the historical facts and atrocities committed during this period.
61. “What is to give light must endure burning.” — Viktor Frankl
62. “In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Viktor Frankl
63. “It is not freedom from conditions, but it is freedom to take a stand toward the conditions.” — Viktor Frankl
64. “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.” — Viktor Frankl
65. “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” — Viktor Frankl
66. “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.” — Viktor Frankl
67. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” — Viktor Frankl
68. “To draw an analogy: a man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber.” — Viktor Frankl
69. “… the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing.” — Viktor Frankl
70. “For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.” — Viktor Frankl
Holocaust quotes about remembering
A survey conducted by the Claims Conference found that 63% of millennials in the United States do not know that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and nearly half could not name a single concentration camp.
This statistic underscores the need for ongoing education and awareness around the Holocaust and its impact on the world.
71. “The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.” – Tim Holden
72. “The Holocaust, taken by itself, is a black hole. To look at it directly is to be swallowed up by it.” – David Novak
73. “I believe that the Holocaust is the most significant event in human history.” – James Comey
74. “The Holocaust was the most evil crime ever committed.” – Stephen Ambrose
75. “It is deeply shocking and incomprehensible to me that despite volumes of documentation and living witnesses who can attest to the horrors of the Holocaust, there are still those who would deny it.” – Mark Udall
76. “The risk of the Holocaust is not that it will be forgotten, but that it will be embalmed and surrounded by monuments and used to absolve all future sins.” – Zygmunt Bauman
77. “Jews survived all the defeats, expulsions, persecutions and pogroms, the centuries in which they were regarded as a pariah people, even the Holocaust itself, because they never gave up the faith that one day they would be free to live as Jews without fear.” – Jonathan Sacks
78. “My grandparents got out of Poland right before the Holocaust and came here, and the only thing that mattered was surviving.” – Jack Antonoff
79. “Growing up, I heard a lot about strength. My dad – a Holocaust survivor – embodied it, though he would never say that about himself. Not only did he survive one of the most horrific events in history, but he never lost hope along the way, crediting acts of kindness with keeping him alive.” – Daniel Lubezky
80. “We must remember both the sacrifices and service of the Greatest Generation who secured freedom and prosperity for our world, as well as the horrors and lessons of the Holocaust.” – Mikie Sherrill
Holocaust Quotes To Take You Down The Memory Lane
Research conducted by psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor himself, highlights the importance of finding meaning and purpose in life as a means of coping with trauma and suffering.
Frankl’s work has been influential in the field of psychology and continues to inspire individuals to find meaning in their lives despite difficult circumstances.
80. “I didn’t know that this was the moment in time and the place where I was leaving my mother and Tzipora forever.” ― Elie Wiesel
81. “If we don’t stand up for others when they’re persecuted, we lose the right to complain when it’s done to us.” ― David Steinman
82. “All suffering is relative to experience, and life while it is everything is also not much at all.” ― Anton Gill
83. “The trouble with what is unthinkable is that at times it must be thought about.” ― John Lukacs
84. “To look good in defeat is the ultimate a person can want.” ― Arnošt Lustig
85. “I wanted to tell her they’d all have new names soon, new lives. That it didn’t matter. But that wasn’t true. It mattered who you were and where you were from. The baby had once had parents, and those parents had given their daughter a name.” ― Jennifer Gold
86. “I am a Jew a generation after the Holocaust. Poorer, my grandfather says, “without a past, than he who has no future.” ― Richard Michelson
87. “Till our coming generations are not taught about the price paid by our ancestors in order to retain our identity, they will wind up choosing wrong Heroes.” ― Sandeep Sahajpal
88. “Without this land, my family probably wouldn’t be alive.” ― Haley Neil
89. “It is not so easy to move on when your sleep is full of nightmarish memories.” ― Eva Mozes Kor
90. “We fought back with our music; it was the only weapon we had.”― Michael Morpurgo
Holocaust quotes from Primo Levi
91. “The aims of life are the best defense against death.”― Primo Levi
92. “Here we are, docile under your gaze; from our side you have nothing more to fear; no acts of violence, no words of defiance, not even a look of judgment.”― Primo Levi
93. “Even in this place one can survive, and therefore one must want to survive, to tell the story, to bear witness; and that to survive we must force ourselves to save at least the skeleton, the scaffolding, the form of civilization.” ― Primo Levi
94. “Then for the first time we became aware that our language lacks words to express this offence, the demolition of a man.” ― Primo Levi
95. “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.” ― Primo Levi
96. “It is not possible to sink lower than this; no human condition is more miserable than this, nor could it conceivably be so.” ― Primo Levi
97. “Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it.”― Primo Levi
98. “Today, in this place, our only purpose is to reach the spring. At the moment we care about nothing else.”― Primo Levi
99. “To destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as to create one: it has not been easy, nor quick, but you Germans have succeeded.”― Primo Levi
100. “We are slaves, deprived of every right, exposed to every insult, condemned to certain death, but we still posses one power, and we must defend it with all our strength for it is the last – the power to refuse our consent.”― Primo Levi
Thought Provoking Holocaust Quotes
101. “I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.” — Anne Frank
102. “The Holocaust also shows us how a combination of events and attitudes can erode a society’s democratic values.” — Tim Holden
103. “Ever notice, the ones who deny the holocaust are usually the same ones who want to repeat it?” — Dennis Prager
104. “Some people don’t believe in climate warning – like those who don’t believe there was a Holocaust.” — Paul McCartney
105. “Given the nonsense that is turned out daily by the Holocaust industry, the wonder is that there are so few skeptics.” — Norman Finkelstein
106. “That I survived the Holocaust and went on to love beautiful girls, to talk, to write, to have toast and tea and live my life – that is what is abnormal.” — Elie Wiesel
107. “Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers.” — Ellen Goodman
108. “We must mistrust utopias: they usually end in holocausts.” — Mario Vargas Llosa
109. “As freedom-loving people across the globe hope for an end to tyranny, we will never forget the enormous suffering of the Holocaust.” — Bob Beauprez
110. “Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist.” — Martin Niemoller
Memorable Holocaust Quotes
111. “It is important to understand that big changes, the kind that transform the way human beings handle being human, start with small changes.” — Naomi Warren
112. “We honor lost loved ones by sharing the lessons of their past to ensure a better future for all.” — Judy and Mark Mucasey
113. “Through the steam, I saw a sign: ‘Auschwitz.’ I didn’t know what it was, but a minute later, I found out.” — Henry Meyer
114. “I was a little girl. I had done nothing to nobody, and I had to go there.” — Wellesina McCrary
115. “It is our responsibility to inspire future generations to stand up against hatred, prejudice, and evil.” — Kisha and Jason Itkin
116. “Everybody, every human being has the obligation to contribute somehow to this world.” — Edith Carter
117. “Their lost voices must continue to be heard.” — John Boyne
118. “To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” — Elie Wiesel
119. “When I went to shul [synagogue], I made sure not to miss even one single word. This is how precious the Hebrew words were to me.” — Leah (age 13)
120. “Six million trees had been planted below, near the Bnei Brit Memorial Cave, a tree for every Holocaust victim, each one representing a person of ambition, hopes and dreams.” ― Bex Band
Holocaust Quotes to Keep its Lessons Alive
121. “The Holocaust was the most evil crime in the history of humanity.” ― Simon Wiesenthal
122. “The Nazi holocaust stands as a symbol of evil in the 20th century.” ― William J. Clinton
123. “The memory of the Holocaust must be a constant warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, and ignorance.” ― Hillary Clinton
124. “The Holocaust teaches us that we must be ever vigilant against hatred, prejudice, and cruelty.” ― Tom Lantos
125. “The Holocaust was a reminder that society can break down, that people can be led astray and that civilized people can act in the most inhumane ways.” ― Benjamin Cardin
126. “The Holocaust was a double tragedy. It was the tragedy of the Jewish people and it was also the tragedy of humanity.” ― Simon Wiesenthal
127. “The Holocaust was the systematic extermination of 6 million Jews and millions of others by the Nazis during World War II.” ― Steven Spielberg
128. “The legacy of the Holocaust is that the Jewish people are now free to live and to flourish.” ― Jonathan Sacks
129. “The Holocaust must remain a warning to all, of what can happen when intolerance, hatred and racism go unchallenged.” ― David Blunkett
130. “The Holocaust was a horrific chapter in human history, and we must never forget the lessons of that dark time.” ― Joe Lieberman
What did you learn from these Holocaust quotes?
The Holocaust was a devastating event that affected the lives of millions of people for decades.
The Holocaust quotes above encapsulate the true essence of this terrible event, from the prospect of survival to the essence of taking action.
They explore what it means to be human in the wake of a disaster and what the people of the event truly experienced.
How can we ensure that the Holocaust never becomes irrelevant?
The most important thing we can do is share the experiences of those who lived through it; these quotes are a good place to start.
Making sure that we talk about it and that these quotes continue to circulate is the best way to remember.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these Holocaust quotes and sayings?
Do you have any other quotes to add?
Let us know in the comment section below.
January 14, 2021 at 3:06 PM
I was born in December 1945 in the United States but very early on The Holocausts were talked about in our home. My father was a jailer at the Banana River Air Station in Florida and there were two German Prisoners that he guarded. One of them was a king and talented man who painted a picture of the ocean and made the frame it was put in. He made a variety of other things to pass the time. He was not aware of the Holocaust because the two men were captured early on in the war. It is surreal what so many have suffered and died. It happened and the biggest take from these quotes is that no matter the circumstance when there is love there is hope and with hope there is faith and with faith there is God. The first of these is Love and the survivors never quit loving. There is HOPE!!!