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.
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 are rid of 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.
Holocaust Quotes About Human Beings
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. “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
4. “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. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite.” – Primo Levi
5. “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
6. “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
7. “I had no real communication with anyone at the time, so I was totally dependent on God. And he never failed me.” – Diet Eman
8. “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
9. “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
10. “Memory for most is a kind of afterlife; for my mother, it is another form of life.” – Fern Shumer Chapman
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
Holocaust Quotes About Surviving
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. “But miracles still happen, even if we don’t think they do.” – Diet Eman
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. “Once my father told me: When a Jew prays, he is asking God a question that has no end.” – Nicole Krauss
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
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. “For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” – Simon Wiesenthal
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 only reason for this treatment was that they were Jews.” – Muriel Knox Doherty
Holocaust Quotes About the Horror of The Event
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. “Surely there is no more wretched sight than the human body unloved and uncared for.” – Corrie Ten Boom
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
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
What did you learn from these Holocaust quotes?
The Holocaust was a devastating event that has 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 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 to share the experiences of those who lived through it, and 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.
February 20, 2020 7:00 AM EST