German

+ 299 If we remind ourselves of the fact that every fifth American today rightly points and perhaps also with a certain degree of pride to his German ancestry or her German ancestry, we can safely say that we, indeed, share common roots. Angela Merkel


+ 271 There is nothing false or arrogant about German pride in German technical and business skills. Douglas Hurd


+ 277 My birth neither shook the German Empire nor caused much of an upheaval in the home. It pleased mother, caused father a certain amount of pride and my elder brother the usual fraternal jealousy of a hitherto only son. Conrad Veidt


+ 349 I agree with you, Mr. Chairman, that the working men are the basis of all governments, for the plain reason that they are the most numerous, and as you added that those were the sentiments of the gentlemen present, representing not only the working class, but citizens of other callings than those of the mechanic, I am happy to concur with you in these sentiments, not only of the native born citizens, but also of the Germans and foreigners from other countries. Mr. Chairman, I hold that while man exists, it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind; and therefore, without entering upon the details of the question, I will simply say, that I am for those means which will give the greatest good to the greatest number. Abraham Lincoln


+ 263 The people in East Germany have lived through so many changes in the last 15 years like never before in the country, and they did this often with great enthusiasm. But in the West we also have a high degree of transformations. Angela Merkel


+ 258 If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew. Albert Einstein


+ 261 By an application of the theory of relativity to the taste of readers, today in Germany I am called a German man of science, and in England I am represented as a Swiss Jew. If I come to be represented as a bete noire, the descriptions will be reversed, and I shall become a Swiss Jew for the Germans and a German man of science for the English. Albert Einstein


+ 243 Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb, I would not have lifted a finger. Albert Einstein


+ 229 Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb, I would not have lifted a finger. Albert Einstein


+ 283 I made one great mistake in my life—when I signed that letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made; but there was some justification—the danger that the Germans would make them! Albert Einstein


+ 337 In my opinion, condemning the Zionist movement as "nationalistic" is unjustified. Consider the path by which Herzl came to his mission. Initially he had been completely cosmopolitan. But during the Dreyfus trial in Paris he suddenly realized with great clarity how precarious was the situation of the Jews in the western world. And courageously he drew the conclusion that we are discriminated against or murdered not because we are Germans, Frenchmen, Americans, etc. of the "Jewish faith" but simply because we are Jews. Thus already our precarious situation forces us to stand together irrespective of our citizenship. Zionism gave the German Jews no great protection against annihilation. But it did give the survivors the inner strength to endure the debacle with dignity and without losing their healthy self respect. Keep in mind that perhaps a similar fate could be lying in wait for your children. Albert Einstein


+ 370 I happened to have nothing to do with the actual research and development of the bomb. My letter to President Roosevelt was nothing but a letter of introduction for Dr. Szilard who wanted to create adequate contact between scientists and Washington regarding the Manhattan project. I had only handled the problem of nuclear defense when it was reported to me that the Germans were working on such an atomic bomb and, in fact, had uranium mines in Czechoslovakia in their control. I felt it was imperative for the United States to proceed in the development of the bomb, before Hitler used it to destroy London. I also felt that we had to show Germany the power of America, for power is the only language barbarians understand. And when I later learned that the bomb had been created and was to be used against Japan, I did all in my power to avert President Truman from this plan, since publicly dropping it on an empty island would have been sufficient to convince Japan or any nation to sue for peace. Albert Einstein


+ 335 My hair was pulled. I was hit with belts. So was the kid next door, and so was the kid next door. It was just the way it was. Many of the children I've seen were broken by their parents, which was the German-Austrian mentality. Break the will. They didn't want to create an individual.... It was all about conforming. I was one who did not conform and whose will could not be broken. Therefore I became a rebel. Every time I got hit, and every time someone said, 'You can't do this,' I said, 'This is not going to be for much longer, because I'm going to move out of here... of course, I had no plan how. Arnold Schwarzenegger


+ 773 When I arrived in England I thought I knew English. After I'd been here an hour I realized that I did not understand one word. In the first week I picked up a tolerable working knowledge of the language and the next seven years convinced me gradually but thoroughly that I would never know it really well, let alone perfectly. This is sad. My only consolation being that nobody speaks English perfectly.

Remember that those five hundred words an average Englishman uses are far from being the whole vocabulary of the language. You may learn another five hundred and another five thousand and yet another fifty thousand and still you may come across a further fifty thousand you have never heard of before, and nobody else either. If you live here long enough you will find out to your greatest amazement that the adjective nice is not the only adjective the language possesses, in spite of the fact that in the first three years you do not need to learn or use any other adjectives. You can say that the weather is nice, a restaurant is nice, Mr Soandso is nice, Mrs Soandso's clothes are nice, you had a nice time, and all this will be very nice. Then you have to decide on your accent. You will have your foreign accent all right, but many people like to mix it with something else. I knew a Polish Jew who had a strong Yiddish-Irish accent. People found it fascinating though slightly exaggerated. The easiest way to give the impression of having a good accent or no foreign accent at all is to hold an unlit pipe in your mouth, to mutter between your teeth and finish all your sentences with the question: 'isn't it?' People will not understand much, but they are accustomed to that and they will get a most excellent impression.

I have known quite a number of foreigners who tried hard to acquire an Oxford accent. The advantage of this is that you give the idea of being permanently in the company of Oxford dons and lecturers on medieval numismatics; the disadvantage is that the permanent singing is rather a strain on your throat and that it is a type of affection that even many English people find it hard to keep up incessantly. You may fall out of it, speak naturally, and then where are you? The Mayfair accent can be highly recommended, too. The advantages of Mayfair English are that it unites the affected air of the Oxford accent with the uncultured flavour of a half-educated professional hotel-dancer.

The most successful attempts, however, to put on a highly cultured air have been made on the polysyllabic lines. Many foreigners who have learnt Latin and Greek in school discover with amazement and satisfaction that the English language has absorbed a huge amount of ancient Latin and Greek expressions, and they realize that
a) it is much easier to learn these expressions than the much simpler English words;
b) that these words as a rule are interminably long and make a simply superb impression when talking to the greengrocer, the porter and the insurance agent. Imagine, for instance, that the porter of the block of flats where you live remarks sharply that you must not put your dustbin out in front of your door before 7.30 a.m. Should you answer 'Please don't bully me,' a loud and tiresome argument may follow, and certainly the porter will be proved right, because you are sure to find a dause in your contract (small print, of last page) that the porter is always right and you owe absolute allegiance and unconditional obedience to him. Should you answer, however, with these words: 1 repudiate your petulant expostulations,' the argument will be closed at once, the porter will be proud of having such a highly cultured man in the block, and from that day onwards you may, if you please, get up at four o'clock in the morning and hang your dustbin out of the window. But even in Curzon Street society, if you say, for instance, that you are a tough guy they will consider you a vulgar, irritating and objectionable person. Should you declare, however, that you are an inquisitorial and peremptory homo sapiens, they will have no idea what you mean, but they will feel in their bones that you must be something wonderful. When you know all the long words it is advisable to start learning some of the short ones, too. You should be careful when using these endless words. An acquaintance of mine once was fortunate enough to discover the most impressive word notalgia for back-ache. Mistakenly, however, he declared in a large company: 'I have such a nostalgia.' 'Oh, you want to go home to Nizhne-Novgorod?' asked his most sympathetic hostess. 'Not at all,' he answered. 'I just cannot sit down.' . Finally, there are two important points to remember:
1. Do not forget that it is much easier to write in English than to speak English, because you can write without a foreign accent.
2. In a bus and in other public places it is more advisable to speak softly in good German than to shout in abominable English.
Anyway, this whole language business is not at all easy. After spending eight years in this country, the other day I was told by a very kind lady: 'But why do you complain? You really speak a most excellent accent without the slightest English.'
The Language by George Mikes


+ 392 As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy - derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name — the Haskalah — for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe. However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 190 The Germans and Austrians are very polite, the Swiss are very reserved and the Spanish usually kiss me. The Brits write me letters. Donna Leon


+ 238 You know, in 1975 I couldn't get a job in New York City because I was American. The kitchens were predominantly run by French, Swiss, German, and basically I got laughed at. I had education, I had experience, but got laughed at because I was American. Emeril Lagasse


+ 204 The Germans and Austrians are very polite, the Swiss are very reserved and the Spanish usually kiss me. The Brits write me letters. Donna Leon


+ 230 Germany stands by Israel and consistently defends its security and right to exist. David McAllister, German Minister-President of Lower Saxony


+ 238 Germany and Israel should dream together for a Middle East in which all the countries are willing to exchange the dispute of the parents with peace for their children. Shimon Peres, President of Israel


+ 244 They really thought the process through. They did such a great job designing these washers and dryers. I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years. Steve Jobs — On Miele, a Germany-based manufacturer of high-end domestic appliances, Wired, 1996


+ 253 The joke about SAP has always been, it's making '50s German manufacturing methodology, implemented in 1960s software technology, delivered to 1970-style manufacturing organizations, like, it's really - yeah, the incumbency - they are still the lingering hangover from the dot-com crash. Marc Andreessen


+ 280 The earth is bountiful, and where her bounty fails, nitrogen drawn from the air will refertilize her womb. I developed a process for this purpose in 1900. It was perfected fourteen years later under the stress of war by German chemists. Nikola Tesla


+ 61 Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, the (Rothschild) brothers conducted important transactions on behalf of the governments of England, France, Prussia, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Naples, Portugal, Brazil, various German states and smaller countries. They were the personal bankers of many of the crowned heads of Europe. They made large investments, through agents, in markets as distant as the United States, India, Cuba and Australia. G. Edward Griffin


+ 103 The whole world is festering with unhappy souls: The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles' Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch; and I don't like anybody very much! Sheldon Harnick