Hannah Arendt

Literary Birthday – 14 October – Hannah Arendt


Hannah Arendt was born 14 October 1906 and died 4 December 1975

Nine Quotes

  1. Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
  2. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.
  3. The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
  4. When evil is allowed to compete with good, evil has an emotional populist appeal that wins out unless good men and women stand as a vanguard against abuse.
  5. Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.
  6. There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.
  7. One of the greatest advantages of the totalitarian elites of the twenties and thirties was to turn any statement of fact into a question of motive.
  8. The third world is not a reality, but an ideology.
  9. When all are guilty, no one is; confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing.

Hannah Arendt was a German-born American political theorist and author. She escaped from Germany during the Holocaust and became an American citizen. Considered one of the most important thinkers of the 20th Century, Arendt wrote 18 books and numerous articles about the nature of power and politics. The Hannah Arendt Prize is named after her. She wrote Eichmann in JerusalemThe Human Condition, and The Origins of Totalitarianism.

Source for image

 by Amanda Patterson

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