Quotations about   killer

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It is not murder which is forgiven but the killer, his person as it appears in circumstances and intentions. The trouble with the Nazi criminals was precisely that they renounced voluntarily all personal qualities, as if nobody were left to be either punished or forgiven. They protested time and again that they had never done anything out of their own initiative, that they had no intentions whatsoever, good or bad, and that they only obeyed orders.

To put it another way: the greatest evil perpetrated is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“Some Questions of Moral Philosophy,” Lecture (1965-66)

Reprinted in Responsibility and Judgment (2003).
Added on 18-Aug-20 | Last updated 18-Aug-20
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What stuck in the minds of these men who had become murderers was simply the notion of being involved in something historic, grandiose, unique (“a great task that occurs once in two thousand years”), which must therefore be difficult to bear. This was important, because the murderers were not sadists or killers by nature; on the contrary, a systematic effort was made to weed out all those who derived physical pleasure from what they did. […] Hence the problem was how to overcome not so much their conscience as the animal pity by which all normal men are affected in the presence of physical suffering. The trick used by Himmler — who apparently was rather strongly afflicted by these instinctive reactions himself — was very simple and probably very effective; it consisted in turning these instincts around, as it were, in directing them toward the self. So that instead of saying: What horrible things I did to people!, the murderers would be able to say: What horrible things I had to watch in the pursuance of my duties, how heavily the task weighed upon my shoulders!

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, ch. 6 (1963)
Added on 7-Jul-20 | Last updated 7-Jul-20
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I think it’s reasonable to say that vampire hunters either have an extremely short life expectancy, or constitute one of the most deadly threats you are ever likely to encounter. They are invariably howling-at-the-moon stark raving bonkers, and not in a good way.

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Rhesus Chart (2014)
Added on 6-Jun-17 | Last updated 6-Jun-17
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What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the Earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle.


Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Cell, “Gaiten Academy,” ch. 16 (2006)
Added on 28-Sep-16 | Last updated 28-Sep-16
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There was an old telephone in the corner of the room, an antique, two-part telephone, unused in the hospital since the 1920s, made of wood and Bakelite. Mr. Croup picked up the earpiece, which was on a long, cloth-wrapped cord, and spoke into the mouthpiece, which was attached to the base. “Croup and Vandemar,” he said, smoothly, “the Old Firm. Obstacles obliterated, nuisances eradicated, bothersome limbs removed and tutelary dentistry.”

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
Neverwhere (1996)
Added on 26-Jun-14 | Last updated 26-Jun-14
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Oh the shark has pretty teeth, dear,
And he shows them pearly white.
Just a jack-knife has MacHeath, dea,r
And he keeps it out of sight.

[Und der Haifisch, der had Zähne
Und die trägt er im Gesicht
Und MacHeath, der had ein Messer
Doch das Messer sieht man nicht.]

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) German poet, playwright, director, dramaturgist
Die Dreigroschenoper [The Three-Penny Opera], Prologue, “The Ballad of Mackie the Knife” (1928)

English lyrics to "The Ballad of Mack the Knife" (Weill, Kurt / Berthold Brecht / Marc Blitzstein)

Alt: translation: "And the shark he has his teeth and / There they are for all to see / And MacHeath he has his knife but / No one knows where it may be."
Added on 1-Aug-08 | Last updated 4-Oct-18
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