Tadeusz Borowski Quotes

There can be no beauty if it is paid for by human injustice, nor truth that passes over injustice in silence, nor moral virtue that condones it.

Why is it that nobody cries out, nobody spits in their faces, nobody jumps at their throats? We doff our caps to the S.S. men returning from the little wood; if our name is called out we obediently go with them to die, and we do nothing. We starve, we are drenched by rain, we are torn from our families. What is this mystery? This strange power of one man over another? This insane passivity that cannot be overcome? Our only strength is our great number; the gas chambers cannot accommodate all of us.

I risked my life to save lives. I’m not looking for glory. I just want people to know the truth about what happened.

Real hunger is when one man regards another man as something to eat.

The world is ruled by neither justice nor morality; crime is not punished nor virtue rewarded, one is forgotten as quickly as the other. The world is ruled by power and power is obtained with money. To work is senseless, because money cannot be obtained through work, but through exploitation of others. And if we cannot exploit as much as we wish, at least let us work as little as we can. Moral duty? We believe neither in the morality of man nor in the morality of systems. [p. 168]

It is the camp law: people going to their death must be deceived to the very end. This is the only permissible form of charity.

I smile and I think that one human being must always be discovering another – through love. And that this is the most important thing on earth, and the most lasting.

The world is ruled by power and power is obtained by money.

A man has only a limited number of ways in which he can express strong emotions or violent passions. He uses the same gestures as when what he feels is only petty and unimportant. He utters the same ordinary words.

And I think about my cell at the Pawiak prison. During the first week I felt I would not be able to endure a day without a book, without the circle of light under the parafin lamp in the evening, without a sheet of paper, without you. . . .

Between two throw-ins in a soccer game, right behind my back, three thousand people had been put to death.

What a curious power words have.