Martha Gellhorn Quotes
47 Sourced Quotes
War happens to people, one by one. That is really all I have to say and it seems to me I have been saying it forever. Unless they are immediate victims, the majority of mankind behaves as if war was an act of God which could not be prevented; or they behave as if war elsewhere was none of their business. It would be a bitter cosmic joke if we destroy ourselves due to atrophy of the imagination.
People often say, with pride, 'I'm not interested in politics.' They might as well say, 'I'm not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future or any future.'... If we mean to keep any control over our world and lives, we must be interested in politics.
Despite official drivel about clean bombs and tactical nuclear weapons, anyone who can read a newspaper or listen to a radio knows that some of us mortals have the power to destroy the human race and man's home on earth. We need not even make war; only by preparing, by playing with our new weapons, we poison the air, the water, the soil of our plants, damage the health of the living, and weaken the chances of the newborn.
It is charming the way everyone in the South says, 'Come back.' This is the regulation farewell at gas stations, soda fountains, general stores, tourist camps. 'Come back,' they call, 'come back.' Do they feel marooned in one place, lost, needing to believe someone will return to share their exile on the similar main streets, in the varied but always new-looking land?
Dachau has been my own lifelong point of no return. Between the moment when I walked through the gate of that prison, with its infamous motto, 'Arbeit Macht Frei,' and when I walked out at the end of a day that had no ordinary scale of hours, I was changed, and how I looked at the human condition, the world we live in, changed... Years of war had taught me a great deal, but war was nothing like Dachau. Compared to Dachau, war was clean.