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.

— Vasily Grossman

The most colorful Vasily Grossman quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

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.


At war a Russian man puts on a white shirt. He may live in sin, but he dies like a saint.


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 in this silence of the dumb and these speeches of the blind, in this medly of people bound together by the same grief, terror and hope, in this hatred and lack of understanding between men who spoke the same tongue, you could see much of the tragedy of the twentieth century.


The history of humanity is the history of human freedom.

..Freedom is not, as Engels thought, "the recognition of necessity." Freedom is the opposite of necessity. Freedom is necessity overcome. Progress is, in essence, the progress of human freedom. Yes, and after all, life itself is freedom. The evolution of life is the evolution of freedom.


The longer a nation's history, the more wars, invasions, wanderings, and periods of captivity it has seen-the greater the diversity of its faces.


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.


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.


Chekhov said: let's put God - and all these grand progressive ideas - to one side. Let's begin with man; let's be kind and attentive to the individual man - whether he's a bishop, a peasant, an industrial magnate, a convict in the Sakhalin Islands, or a waiter in a restaurant. Let's begin with respect, compassion, and love for the individual - or we'll never get anywhere.


Humanity will live as long as there are humans.


Why do people have memories? It would be easier to die - anything to stop remembering.


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.


About Vasily Grossman

Quotes 22 sayings
Profession Writer
Birthday December 12, 1905

He was endowed with the extraordinary powers of endurance characteristic of madmen and simpletons.


The divine impeccability of the immortal [Soviet] State turned out not only to have suppressed individual human beings but also to have defended them, to have comforted them in their weakness, to have justified their insignificance. The State had taken on its own shoulders the entire weight of responsibility; it had liberated people from the chimera of conscience.


There is a deep and undeniable sadness in all this: whenever we see the dawn of an eternal good that will never be overcome by evil – an evil that is itself eternal but will never succeed in overcoming good – whenever we see this dawn, the blood of old people and children is always shed.


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.


I have written only what I have thought through, felt through and suffered through.


The sea was not freedom; it was a likeness of freedom, a symbol of freedom...How splendid freedom must be if a mere likeness of it, a mere reminder of it, is enough to fill a man with happiness.


There's nothing more difficult than saying goodbye to a house where you've suffered.


I don't believe in your "Good". I believe in human kindness.


Thousands of people are being buried and no one attends the funerals,' said one of the soldiers. 'In peacetime it's the other way round: one coffin and a hundred people carrying flowers.