Category: quotes

When Pastor Niemöller was put in a concentration camp we wrote the year 1937; when the concentration camp was opened we wrote the year 1933, and the people who were put in the camps then were Communists. Who cared about them? We knew it, it was printed in the newspapers.

Who raised their voice, maybe the Confessing Church? We thought: Communists, those opponents of religion, those enemies of Christians – “should I be my brother’s keeper?”

Martin Niemöller

“Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful. They are people of a low sort and stock; the hangman and the bloodhound look out of their faces. Mistrust all who talk much of their justice! Verily, their souls lack more than honey. And when they call themselves the good and the just, do not forget that they would be pharisees, if only they had – power.”


“Doña Josefa evidently did not believe that because “misery there must always be in the world, no matter who causes it,” that she was called upon to stoically submit to unmerited infliction. In a mild and dignified way, her mind rebelled. She regarded the acts of the men who caused her husband’s ruin and death with genuine abhorrence. To her, rectitude and equity had a clear meaning impossible to pervert. No subtle sophistry could blur in her mind the clear line dividing right from wrong. She knew that among men the word business means inhumanity to one another; it means justification of rapacity; it means the freedom of man to crowd and crush his fellow-man; it means the sanction of the Shylockian principle of exacting the pound of flesh. She knew all this, but the illustration, the ocular demonstration, had never been before her until now in that gay house, in that brightly illuminated mansion, and she sadly contrasted her sorrow with their gayety, and continued her soliloquy: “No doubt those people think they have a right to rejoice and feast with the money extorted in crushing so many people—the killing of my darling. Doubtless they say that they earned the money in BUSINESS, and that allegation is all-sufficient; that one word justifies in the pursuit of riches everything mean, dishonest, rapacious, unfair, treacherous, unjust, and fraudulent. After a man makes his money no one cares how he made it, and so those people dance while I mourn for my beloved.””

María Ruiz de Burton, The Squatter and the Don

“Another advantage I gained in my new master was, he made no pretensions to, or profession of, religion; and this, in my opinion, was truly a great advantage. I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes, – a justifier of the most appalling barbarity, – a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds, – and a dark shelter under, which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others. It was my unhappy lot not only to belong to a religious slaveholder, but to live in a community of such religionists.”

Fredrick Douglass, on false Christians, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself

“I reminded the audience of the peril which surrounded this self- emancipated young man at the North, – even in Massachusetts, on the soil of the Pilgrim Fathers, among the descendants of revolutionary sires; and I appealed to them, whether they would ever allow him to be carried back into slavery, – law or no law, constitution or no constitution. The response was unanimous and in thunder-tones – “NO!” “Will you succor and protect him as a brother-man – a resident of the old Bay State?” “YES!” shouted the whole mass, with an energy so startling, that the ruthless tyrants south of Mason and Dixon’s line might almost have heard the mighty burst of feeling, and recognized it as the pledge of an invincible determination, on the part of those who gave it, never to betray him that wanders, but to hide the outcast, and firmly to abide the consequences.”

William Lord Garrison