Quote of the moment.

We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

“Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

“There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”

“Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

Herman Goering as related to Gustave Gilbert at the Nuremberg trials, from the book Nuremberg Diary.

6 thoughts on “Quote of the moment.

  1. Are you sure about that Jim? According to the folks at Snopes.com the quote is real. It also helps if you’ve read the book the quote comes from before making an accusation like that. You’ll note that I listed the source in my entry.

  2. The quote is real, at least from the book given.  I’m a librarian.  I looked it up.  Gilbert, G.M. The Nuremberg Diary.  New York : Signet, c1961, p. 255-256.

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