Frases de Vasily Grossman

Vasily Grossman foto

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Vasily Grossman

Data de nascimento: 12. Dezembro 1905
Data de falecimento: 14. Setembro 1964

Vasily Semyonovich Grossman , pseudônimo de Iosif Solomonovich Grossman

Citações Vasily Grossman


„E os filhos dos camponeses! Alguma vez viu, nos jornais, as fotografias das crianças dos campos de concentração alemães? Eram exactamente como estas, as suas cabeças eram bolas enormes em cima de pequenos pescoços, como se fossem cegonhas, vendo-se cada osso dos braços e das pernas a salientar-se por debaixo da pele, e todo o esqueleto a sobressair na pele, qual gaze amarela. E os rostos das crianças estavam envelhecidos e atormentados, como se tivessem setenta anos de idade. E na Primavera já nem sequer tinham rosto. Em vez disso, tinham cabeças semelhantes a pássaros com bicos, ou cabeças de rã - lábios finos e compridos - alguns assemelhando-se a peixes, de boca aberta. Rostos não humanos!“

„As uniões dos homens, as suas razões, são determinadas por um único objetivo: conquistar o direito dos homens a serem diferentes.“


„Good men and bad men alike are capable of weakness. The difference is simply that a bad man will be proud all his life of one good deed - while an honest man is hardly aware of his good acts, but remembers a single sin for years on end.“ Life and Fate

„I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never by conquered. The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man’s meaning. Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil, struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness. But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.“ Life and Fate

„In the cruel and terrible time in which our generation has been condemned to live on this earth, we must never make peace with evil. We must never become indifferent to others or undemanding of ourselves.“

„And the greatest tragedy of our age is we don't listen to our consciences. We don't say what we think. We feel one thing and do another.“ Life and Fate

„Human groupings have one main purpose: to assert everyone’s right to be different, to be special, to think, feel and live in his or her own way. People join together in order to win or defend this right. But this is where a terrible, fateful error is born: the belief that these groupings in the name of a race, a God, a party or a State are the very purpose of life and not simply a means to an end. No! The only true and lasting meaning of the struggle for life lies in the individual, in his modest peculiarities and in his right to these peculiarities.“ Life and Fate

„There's nothing more difficult than saying goodbye to a house where you've suffered.“ Life and Fate


„Ivan tells Anna: "I used to imagine that being embraced by a woman... as something so wonderful that it would make me forget everthing... [But] happiness, it turns out, will be to share with you the burden I can't share with anyone else.“ Everything Flows

„In great hearts the cruelty of life gives birth to good.“ Life and Fate

„Man and fascism cannot co-exist. If fascism conquers, man will cease to exist and there will remain only man-like creatures that have undergone an internal transformation. But if man, man who is endowed with reason and kindness, should conquer, then Fascism must perish, and those who have submitted to it will once again become people.“ Life and Fate

„There are people whose souls have just withered, people who are willing to go along with anything evil - anything so as not to be suspected of disagreeing with whoever is in power.“ Life and Fate


„I don't believe in your "Good". I believe in human kindness.“ Life and Fate

„Don't you remember how you once answered a question of mine? Me - I shall never forget your words. Those words of yours opened my eyes; they brought me the light of day. I asked you how the Germans could send Jewish children to die in the gas chambers. How, I asked, could they live with themselves after that? Was there really no judgement passed on them by man or God? And you said: Only one judgement is passed on the executioner - he ceases to be a human being. Through looking on his victim as less than human, he becomes his own executioner, he executes the human being inside himself. But the victim - no matter what the executioner does to kill him - remains a human being forever. Remember now?“ Forever Flowing

„I don't want you to be young and beautiful. I only want one thing. I want you to be kind-hearted - and not just towards cats and dogs.“ Life and Fate

„I used to think freedom was freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience. But freedom is the whole life of everyone. Here is what it amounts to: you have to have the right to sow what you wish to, to make shoes or coats, to bake into bread the flour ground from the grain you have sown, and to sell it or not sell it as you wish; for the lathe operator, the steelworker, and the artist it’s a matter of being able to live as you wish and work as you wish and not as they order you to. And in our country there is no freedom – not for those who write books nor for those who sow grain nor for those who make shoes.” (Grossman, p. 99) He noted that “In people’s day-to-day struggle to live, in the extreme efforts workers put forth to earn an extra ruble through moonlighting, in the collective farmers’ battle for bread and potatoes as the one and only fruit of their labor, he [Ivan Grigoryevich] could sense more than the desire to live better, to fill one’s children’s stomachs and to clothe them. In the battle for the right to make shoes, to knit sweaters, in the struggle to plant what one wished, was manifested the natural, indestructible striving toward freedom inherent in human nature. He had seen this very same struggle in the people in camp. Freedom, it seemed, was immortal on both sides of the barbed wire.” (Grossman, p. 110)“ Forever Flowing